South Sea Pearl Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™
Highly coveted South Sea pearls are often described as the pinnacle of cultured pearls--they're certainly among the most rare and expensive available. Primarily farmed in the pristine waters off Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, South Sea pearls are generally much larger than other pearl types, ranging from nine to 20 millimeters, and have a unique luster due to their nacre coating. As there are two varieties of this oyster, a gold-lipped and silver-lipped, pearls can be both white to silver and golden.
Gray, White, Cream, Yellow, Pink, Purple With Blue, Green Overtone
South-sea-pearl classificationCommonNameSouth Sea PearlSpeciesCultured PearlVarietySouth Sea PearlColorsGray, White, Cream, Yellow, Pink, Purple With Blue, Green OvertoneAlternateNamesGemstoneGroupsKeySeparationsAppearance, 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.ClassificationCommentsTypical size of a South Sea pearl runs 10 to 15mm; They are produced by silver and gold lipped Pinctada maxima mollusk.
South-sea-pearl chemistry & crystallographyChemicalNamecalcium carbonate + conchiolin and waterChemicalFormulaCaCO3SynthesisCrystalSystemNAChemistryClassificationOrganicNatureCulturedCrystallinityChemistryComments
South-sea-pearl optical propertiesTransparencyTranslucent - OpaqueDispersionOpticalCommentsRefractiveIndex1.53-1.685Birefringence0.155OpticCharacterNAOpticSignNAPolariscopeReactionAggregate (AGG)FluorescenceSWUV: Variable
South-sea-pearl characteristic physical propertiesHardness2.5-4CharacteristicCommentsStreakSpecificGravity2.72-2.78ToughnessGoodInclusionsSouth Sea pearls tend to be more spotted than Akoya. They have a thicker nacre coat compared to other saltwater pearls. If the pearl is drilled you can inspect the hole to look for bead nucleus.LusterDullStabilityPoorFractureUnevenCleavageNone