Pearl Quality Is a Concern

Many retail jewelers attending the Pearl Market Panel at The JCK Show in Las Vegas expressed concerns about the enhancement of a pearl's luster. Enhancements such as bleaching and dyeing are considered a fairly common practice among pearl producers, but the seller should always disclose any enhancement. That was the opinion of Gina Latendresse, president of the American Pearl Company, producers of American freshwater cultured pearls, and Avi Raz, president of A&Z Pearls, the Los Angeles-based wholesale pearl company known for its high-quality Japanese akoya cultured pearls. The suggestion that pearls are or can be polished opened up a number of topics, including repair of scratched pearls, replacement of damaged pearls in heavily worn estate jewelry, and the probable cause for the new high-luster Chinese freshwater cultured pearls. Raz points out that polishing is probably not a fa
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