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Faceted pearls?

More about Pearls…what about these “new” faceted pearls? I think
they look new and interesting…but I am questioning what the dealer
that I bought some told me. I was told that …“they were made in
China because the nacre of the Japanese pearls was not thick enough to
withstand the faceting process”

Ok…but when I look at these pearls and study them…it looks to me
that they have been dipped in something and then faceted…( can
anyone confirm or deny the process???) as I can see the reflection
of imperfections or “dip rings” as in freshwater “potatoe” pearls. I
love pearls…and I love learning about pearls…and I love the look of
these new pearls. But…I would like to have the correct
about them…Can anyone help?


nan - regarding the dealer’s statement that nacre on japanese pearls
is too thin for the faceted ‘process’ on chinese pearls (right now i
am not pleased to defend either of those countries): the ‘process’ is
placement of preshaped material - often some sort of plastic - into
the clams so that nacre is built up around it. most of the 'faceted’
preforms are large & therefore it takes longer for a decent nacre
covering to build up. it becomes economically unfeasible to wait long
enough for thick nacre to form before harvesting - that’s probably
why they look ‘dipped’ instead of pearl-like.

frankly, the ‘faceted’ pearls i saw in tucson looked contrived, cheap
& tacky (sort of like a mercedes 190 i saw with ‘spoiler’);
manipulation is not innovation & just because it’s new doesn’t make
it desirable.

people: think!


Hi Nan,

I am a direct Tahitian pearl importer, although I have not yet dealt
with any faceted pearls. I have seen faceted Tahitian pearls at the
Tucson show and discussed the creation process with one the dealers.
As I understand it, the facets are the result of using a faceted
nucleus rather than a perfectly round one. This gives it what I call a
"quilted" look, since the “facets” tend to be rounded a by the nacre.
To me it looks like a cross between a blackberry and a Tahitian pearl.

I was recently talking with a local jeweler here who is interested in
working them. I personally don’t like the look, but that is my own
personal taste. I love ringed pearls and I know that others don’t. I
am very interested in what others think. If they are popular, maybe I
will talk to my pearl farmer about supplying me with some.


JoAnna Kelleher, owner

I saw the faceted pearls at AGTA in Tucson. I must say they reflected
a huge amount of light; enough to make me go over and see what had
caught my eye. However, on closer inspection, they had a cheap
artificial quality. They may be useful as a short-term fad item, but
I doubt they’ll be around in 3 years.

Karen Hemmerle
Boulder, CO

I agree-- the “faceted” pearls that I have seen, look fake and cheap.
I think it is misrepresentation to call them “faceted.”. in
reality, they are"pre-formed" and should be called pre-formed, and
not faceted… Which brings up another related issue. On Home
Shopping network, They had some black chinese freshwater pearls
(actually dark dark gray), at giveaway prices. they represented them
as being untreated, and natural color. This puzzled me, as I was
under the impression that dark freshwater pearls from China are
either irradiated or dyed. Are the Chinese producing black pearls
now- or are the ones on TV being misrepresented?. Also, I notice
that Home Shopping not only fails to make any disclosure about
treatment, but acually misrepresents many of their things… Are
they exempt from the rules governing full disclosure? All that hype
is most misleading and really bugs me… Alma

Not sure who has seen my last post about my faceted pearl post. The
faceted pearl that I had problems with that separated from the
plastic nuclei was not preformed. It was a completely smooth
spherical form and indeed the nacre was what was faceted. I am sure
that different sources will have different product, but this is what
I came across.


To the best of my knowledge only the Black-lipped oyster produces
dark-colored pearls. These oysters are primarily in French Polynesia,
although they have been known to occur naturally in other parts of
the world, including along the Mexican coast (remember Steinbeck’s
"The Pearl").

I am not aware of any freshwater mollusc that produces black pearls.


JoAnna Kelleher, owner
Pearl Exotics Trading Company, LLC

Alma, No one is exempt from the FTC rules regarding disclosure but
someone has to be willing to go after the violators. If you have
watched a significant amount of time on the HSN channel and have noted
no treatment disclosure you should report it to the Jewelers Vigilance
Committee. They have some clout and may be more willing to pursue the

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers

jim - in your last post you said << It was a completely smooth
spherical form and indeed the nacre was what was faceted. >> in that
case it was a man-made bead, not a faceted pearl. neither oysters nor
clams can form nacre around an object without adhering to the shape &
surface configuration of the preform or nuclei - at least not without
it taking many years of building up a very thick layer of nacre. & it
couldn’t have formed inside a ‘mold’ since the oyster or clam would
have covered the outside of that instead of the preform.

imagine dipping a bumpy bead into thick paint - when you pull out the
bead the paint layer is as bumpy as the bead.

it sounds like it was a bead stuck in a mold with facets.