The Mantle Tissue Issue

For months, there has been debate in the trade press over what is in the center of large round and near-round Chinese freshwater pearls. Antoinette Matlins, author ofThe Pearl Book, has insisted that the only way to produce so many nice, big Chinese freshwaters is to bead-nucleate the mollusks with old rejected freshwater pearls. But Todd Cislo, spokesman for C. Link of Japan, says that all the pearls his company sells are mantle-tissue-nucleated. Any suggestions that they are bead-nucleated or old-pearl-nucleated is absolutely untrue, he maintains. Now another group has joined forces to counter Matlins's charges. The group consists of representatives from the American Gem Trade Association's Gem Testing Center (GTC) and the Gemological Institute of America's Gem Trade Laboratory (GTL) and Shigeru Akamatsu, former manager of the Pearl Research Laboratory and now general manager of sa

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