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Glossary

A | B | C | D | G | K | L | M | N | O | P |R | S | T
A
A

quality category that corresponds to the extremely smooth and nearly perfect pearl with a very high luster and with no surface flaws or very slight ones visible to the naked eye and confined to less than 10 % of its surface.

aragonite

a form of calcium carbonate, which constitutes the nacre of the pearl. Carbonate calcium (CaCO3) entering the composition of the mollusc shells, and  essential matter that composes the pearls.

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B
B

quality category that corresponds to the pearl with a high or medium luster and with some flaws visible to the naked eye and spread over less than 30 % of its surface.

baroc

pearl which has an irregular and asymmetrical shape.

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C
C

quality category that corresponds to the pearl with a medium quality luster with  flaws over 30 % of its surface.

circled

pearl with some regular rings over more than 30% of its surface.

collector

artificial or natural process (tree trunks, faggots of miki miki, lattice, nettings, etc.) that allows to fix the larvae swimmer of mother-of-pearl or the seed oysters.

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D
D

quality category of pearl with a weak quality luster and with flaws over 60 % of its surface.

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G
gonad genital organia of the oyster
graft operation carried out by the man and consisting in introducing into the gonad of a mother-of-pearl, a nucleus and a graft, in order to make a pearl.
greffor expert on mother-of-pearl’s grafts.
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K
keishi

tiny pearl with various baroque shapes. It is created naturally when the graft does not work, when the oyster rejects the nucleus and thus there is no more support. (SYN : keshi)

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L
luster the luster is the degree of reflection and refraction of light on the surface of the pearl.
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M
mabé

brut product made in French Polynesia. It is a blister pearl which has been hollowed out and filled with a substance and backing.

mantle

membranous tissue that secretes nacre and lines the inside of a shell.

mother-of-pearl

The smooth inner lining of a mollusk' shell, composed of nacre. It is the same substance as nacre which forms pearls.

Note : As ones goes along the scracthing of the mother-of-pearl, the color of the pearl can be very different. Scratching is risky for the pearl but it is quite interesting to use this process to perform, with a little bit of luck, a pearl with an extraordinary color. All the steps represent a heavy and hard. The most beautiful mother-of-pearls are the one which have been cared as unique and original creations.

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N
nucleus

In the case of cultured sea pearls, a bead of shell, often from the Mississippi River in the USA.
Note: The nucleus is the little bead of shell that it is graft inside the mother-of-pearl to make the pearl. (SYN: Center)

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O
orient

play of light that appears on the surface of the pearl. The orient changes according to the layers of calcium carbonate (aragonite) settled on the surface of the pearl.

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P
perle nacreous growth inside a mollusk's shell, which forms around intruding irritants to protect the creature's delicate body.
poche perlière

cyst of epithelium (mantle) tissue that surrounds an irritant inside a mollusk's shell and secretes nacre around it to form a pearl.

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R
round most sought-after pearl which looks like an almost-perfect sphere and whose diameter variation rate is less than 2 %.
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S
scion piece of the mother-of-pearl mantle that greffors put inside the gonad of the oyster. In the same time, greffors put the nucleus inside the oyster.
semi-baroque

pearl which has some irregular shapes and which can be classified according to three categories: drop, button and oval.

semi-round pearl which looks like a slightly imperfect sphere and whose diameter variation rate is bounded by 2 % and 5 %.
spat Young shells as larvae swimmer (oyster, mother-of-pearl, mussle) before their fixation on ocean bottom. Little mother-of-pearl that pearl-divers fix on collector when larvae have end their life.
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T
top gem quality category that corresponds to the perfect pearl, with an excellent luster and which is extremely rare.
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