Cortez Pearls Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™
Emerging once more from the clear waters of the Gulf of California, after decades of protection, is Mexico's most emblematic gem: 'New World Black Pearls'. In 1533, the Spanish Conqueror Hernan Cortez sent the very first expeditions into the area to find the mythical "Sea of Pearls." Soon, the area known as the "Vermillion Sea of Cortez" - that we officially know as the Gulf of California - produced one of the finest known pearls in the world, the Cortez Pearl. These prized gems became New Spain's most important export product, with a price so high that their value was more than double of that of all other combined exports to the Old Continent: gold, silver and spices. It was at this moment in time when Mexican black pearls came to be known as the 'Queen of Gems' and the 'Gem of Queens', adorning European nobility like never before. Back from a 400 year reign and near extinction, are a new generation of Cortez Pearls being cultivated from the same highly-priced oysters of Mexico.
Purple, Rose, Silvery Blue, Pink, White, Gold
Cortez-pearls classificationCommonNameCortez PearlsSpeciesNAVarietyColorsPurple, Rose, Silvery Blue, Pink, White, GoldAlternateNamesRainbow PearlsGemstoneGroupsKeySeparationsAppearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification. A "tooth test" is commonly used in which a pearl is rubbed against a tooth; if gritty, this is an indication that the surface is nacre, versus plastic and glass imitations that feel smooth.ClassificationCommentsCortez pearls are produced by the Rainbow lipped pearl oyster Pteria sterna.
Cortez-pearls chemistry & crystallographyChemicalNamecalcium carbonate + conchiolin and waterChemicalFormulaCaCO3SynthesisCrystalSystemNAChemistryClassificationOrganicNatureCulturedCrystallinityChemistryComments
Cortez-pearls optical propertiesTransparencyTranslucent - OpaqueDispersionOpticalCommentsRefractiveIndex1.53-1.685Birefringence0.155OpticCharacterOpticSignPolariscopeReactionAggregate (AGG)FluorescenceSWUV:
LWUV: Black pearls will fluoresce hot pink to magentaCCFReactionPleochroismNone
Cortez-pearls characteristic physical propertiesHardness2.5-4CharacteristicCommentsStreakSpecificGravity2.72-2.78ToughnessGoodInclusionsLusterDullStabilityPoorFractureUnevenCleavageNone