Glossary

Akoya
Japanese pearls named after the Akoya oyster (Pinctada Fucata) from the Ago Bay, these pearls range in size from 2mm to 10mm and have a high lustre.
Baroque Pearl
An irregularly shaped pearl of which there are several types. Those resembling a drop or button or have near round shapes are called semi-baroque. More radically irregular shaped pearls are called heavy baroque or fish-tail baroque. In a baroque cultured pearl, the space between the round nucleus and the irregular, sometimes protruding coating is sometimes hollow.
Black or Tahitian Pearl
Cultivated by the black-lipped Pinctada Margaritifera oyster in Tahiti, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. Colours include black, grey, green cobalt blue and rusty orange. Sizes range from 8mm to 20mm.
Blister
Dome-shaped half pearls grown against the mother of pearl shell lining.
Button Pearl
A rounded pearl with a flat bottom like a button.
Conchiolin
The brown substance secreted by an oyster which binds layers of nacre together in the formation of a pearl.
Circle or Ringed Pearl
Round pearls with concentric ridges from top to bottom.
Cultured Pearl
A pearl whose formation has been initiated by man through the insertion of a piece of mantle tissue either with or without a nucleus into an oyster or mussel.
Cultured Pearl
A pearl whose formation has been initiated by man through the insertion of a piece of mantle tissue either with or without a nucleus into an oyster or mussel.
Gold lip shell
A type of the Pinctada Maxima oyster named after its gold or yellow inner shell edges. Found mainly in the northern equatorial waters of South East Asia, it usually produces golden or yellow South Sea pearls.
Grain
The traditional unit of weight for natural pearls. One grain equals 0.05 grams or 1/4 of a carat. There are 75 grains to 1 momme.
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