GemNotes

Are Freshwater Chinese Pearls Being Misrepresented? How do the Chinese create such round and lustrous freshwater cultured pearls? Antoinette Matlins, author of a number of gem books, including The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide, believes the Chinese freshwaters are “bead nucleated” with all-nacre beads fashioned from previously rejected freshwater cultured pearls. “The trade magazines have been describing them as 'non-nucleated' or 'tissue-nucleated.' Both descriptions are wrong,” says Matlins. “For those who know anything about nacre production and deposition, it was clear from the start that what was being reported wasn't possible,” Matlins says. “First, without a 'round' nucleus, the rarity of such large round pearls would be much greater than is currently the case. Second, the stated timetable of six to nine years is much too short for the sizes being produ
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