Tag Archives: gold leaf pearls


Gamma Radiation

Gamma irradiation turns the nacre of freshwater pearls very dark, and often also imbues a metallic lustre with rainbow orient. Strangely, it has no effect on salt water nacre but will turn the nucleus dark which shows through the layer of nacre, making the pearl look grey or blueish There is no danger of radiation contamination from irradiated pearls.


or popcorn pearls have a knobbly surface which resembles..popcorn. This granulation is often mixed with patches of high lustre surface. When the Chinese freshwater pearl business was starting up most of the pearls were, at least to some degree, popcornish and oval in shape. Term also used for the earliest Chinese freshwater pearls which were called Rice Krispie pearls.

Loose, undrilled white rosebud /granulated pearls

Gold Leaf Pearls

This is the name we give to the extremely beautiful lustrous gold pearls which are natural pearls with a layer of aragonite with an incredible lustre – so it does indeed look as if a layer of gold leaf has been applied to the pearls.

These pearls show the stunning gold colour which

looks as if gold leaf had been applied to the pearl surface

Gold-lip Oyster

A large oyster (variety of Pinctada maxima) used in some countries to produce South Sea cultured pearls; it produces a yellowi nacre, and pearls that typically range from off-white to rich, deep gold in colour.

Loose undrilled gold south sea pearls waiting to be paired for earrings


An optical phenomenon which causes the hue of the pearl to change colours depending upon the angle from which the pearl is viewe. Popularly called colour-change pearls

Ripple Pearls Get Their Own Section in the Website

It isn’t really very earth shattering news, but we’ve made it easier for pearl lovers to find the gorgeous ripple pearls on the Pearlescence Website (here) .

Nerida Harris of Australian pearl trade supplier Pearl Perfection and I spotted the first of the ripple pearls to appear on a vendor’s stand at the Hong Kong Gem show in September 2010. There was one hank, buried under many other white pearls and the rage of the time, souffle pearls (whatever happened to them?) Just the one hank of eight strands of these huge, rippled surfaced pearls of obviously natural colours which looked as if they had had gold leaf appiled to parts of their surface.

ripple pearls

Classic ripple pearls – pink, lavender, blues, and the gorgeous gold leaf overlay effect

Nerida took four and I took four.I can remember we looked at eachother and said ‘oooh’ They sold within a few days of going on our websites.

We got more next time we were each in Hong Kong. I found some huge white ones which I only realised when I got home and looked again at them looked remarkably like white south sea pearls

white ripple pearls

White ripple pearls. Some have the same satin lustre as south sea pearls for a fraction of the price.

Rpple pearls have proved so popular now that I decided that they need to be easier to find on the website and merit their own section – so it is here

The pearls are bead nucleated and are usually between 10mm and 16mm in size.

There are lots of places on the ripple bandwagon now – and when I was in Hong Kong last September they were certainly more plentiful. But there were an awful lot of really second rate pearls around, with poor colour and massive blemishing. Just not good enough for Pearlescence. The sort of pearls which end up on eBay or with sellers who don’t go to Hong Kong or mainland China to select each and every strand themself.