When buying cultured pearls, consumers must consider several quality characteristics that are very different from the four C's of diamonds or gemstones. Nacre quality is very important. The nacre is the layers of protective coating - a pearly substance - that grows around a pearl nucleus. Experts warn that only pearls with a sufficient layer of nacre will last through years of wear; thin-nacre pearls often peel or crack. A nacre that is less than 0.35 mm is considered too thin, and thicker is always better.... (2004) Complete Story
For the past 125 years, textbooks and museum displays have relied on the beauty of tiger's eye to add interest to an often dry description of pseudomorphism, a term that simply means the replacement of one mineral by another while preserving the form of the original mineral. Mineralogists once thought that the stunning play of light emerging from tiger's eye resulted from the infiltration and dissolution of the fibrous mineral crocidolite, a deep blue, asbestos like silicate, by hot waters rich in dissolved silica. Tigerís eye was viewed as a spectacular form of chalcedony and is often included as a variety of quartz in mineral guides.... (2003) Complete Story
Since the beginning of time, man has sought to improve upon nature. Pearls are no exception. The majority of today's cultured pearls have undergone some form of processing or treatment after their removal from the mollusk. The only way to confidently buy in the wholesale arena is to learn what to look for and what to beware of....
(2004) Complete Story