Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The dangers of the WWW. I went looking for this month's birthstone and became lost for hours. Those delightful earrings have as their centre piece, "Chocolate" pearls, a product of a bleaching process developed by Ballerina Pearls.
The Gemmological Institute of America conducted a series of spectroscopic tests, Infra-red, Near Infra-red Reflectance, Raman and Photo luminescence on chocolate cultured pearls, silver dyed Tahitian cultured pearls and natural colour Tahitian cultured pearls.

They also cut into two pearls to a depth of 1mm (pearl on the left) and a deeper cut toward the nucleus (pearl on the right). The induced colouration appeared homogenous throughout both pearls. The GIA deduced that the treatment alters the organic components of the pearl nacre unlike an introduced dye.
A dye or stain will only penetrate the top layers of nacre, lessening in intensity toward the nucleus. This dyeing process (using silver nitrate) will also work on white or grey South Sea pearls. Dyed "chocolate" pearls are considered a "treated" pearl.

The bleaching and heating process used on jet-black Tahitian pearls reduced the lustre but since the pearls chosen are usually a very shiny black, they end up with a warm iridescent copper, bronze or rust-brown glowing colour.


Brian Hughes said...

"Chocolate?" "No...Maltesers."

Lord Sedgwick said...

"Who thinks about the Jaffas?!"

JahTeh said...

Aw, youse two are filistines!

R.H. said...

How odd, I've been eating maltesers lately, packets of them. They're about $4.40, and it doesn't look like there's many in there but once you start there's quite a lot.
Pearls are the only jewellery I can see any value in. And they look good.

JahTeh said...

Rh, you know I'm going to have to buy maltesers and jaffas tomorrow.
I can almost taste them now.
I love pearls and I try not to think about torturing the oyster to get them but they get to live a long life and laze around in warm sea water. On my want list is a nice pink tear drop pearl, large.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"On my want list is a nice pink tear drop pearl, large."

Not only are you a card-carrying elitist but apparently sizeist to boot.

Bring on the tumbrels!

Word verification... RSL HQ !!! What ever did happen to Bruce Ruxton?

Maybe he headed for the hills on account of the previous gubbermint being far too right and rabid even for our Bruce.

JahTeh said...

Lucky for you I'm not ageist.

Didn't our Brucie move to Queensland to replace Joh when he shuffled off to cloud land?

R.H. said...

You want dat poil?

I'll see what I can do.

JahTeh said...

Rh, you would mugg an oyster for moi?

R.H. said...

For you babe I'd wrestle an octopus.

Pearls said...

Love the chocolate pearls!