If you haven't seen faceted pearls before, here are a couple of
(1) "Gems & Gemology," Summer 1997, Gem News Section... also available
online, with a photo of 3 faceted pearls...
http://www.giaonline.gia.edu/su97_146.htm (If prompted, login as user
"guest" using the password "guest" - without the " marks.) Here's the
quote from the G&G web page, for those who don't visit: "The faceting
produces a very curious optical effect: All of the facets appear to be
distinctly convex. However, closer inspection with a microscope and
reflected light showed that the facets were indeed flat. The curved
effect is apparently produced by the flat facets cutting through the
numerous individual curved layers of nacre, bringing deep nacre layers
closer to the surface in the middle of the facets. In some cases,
remnants of the original surface can be seen between facets."
(2) There's some info on faceted pearls on page 287 of "Gems &
Gemology," Winter 1998 (in the Gem Trade Lab Notes Section).
(3) As with most things gem related, there's different kinds and
qualities. I personally don't care for most of them, but a beautiful
13.5mm black Tahitian faceted pearl (in a ring) won 1st place in
division one in the 2001 AGTA Spectrum Awards competition. It was done
by Mark Schneider of Schneider Design Studio and you can see it at...
Want to see all the detail? For a super-zoomed-in (200K) version of
the photo that will fill your browser's window, go to...
If you're interested in seeing all of the AGTA Spectrum Award winners
for 2001, go to... http://www.agta.org/s2001.htm
Best regards, as always - James Marker, GG
American Gem Trade Association