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Pearlizing Shells


#1

All the recent discussion of shells has me thinking about a
project I’ve put on the back burner for far too long. A dear
friend gave me two Chambered Nautilus shells which her husband
collected in Papua New Guinea many years ago. I’d like to
pearlize one of them (remove the outer layer of the shell to
expose the nacre), but I don’t know how to proceed with such a
delicate shell. Also I have a six inch Green Turban shell to
which I would like to apply a similar treatment. I’ve seen both
species treated in this manner, and the results are
extraordinarily beautiful. My question, of course, is…how does
one remove the outer layer of the shell without damaging the
nacre? All suggestions will be deeply appreciated.

-Pete Steiner- Lapidary and would-be shell pearlizer