I have a recently received a South Seas pearl oyster shell (about
the size of a man’s hand) with a “half” pearl (~1/2" is diameter,
absolutely gorgeous silver grey iridescence too)) embedded in the
lip. Not having worked with pearl shell (or pearls of this calibre)
before I’m slightly uneasy about just cutting into it to liberate the
pearl, but I “can see” a pendant with this beauty in it and really
would like to make a start on this. BTW I can probably get some more
from the same source as she just likes to see them being appreciated,
the two she gave away to friends on the return from her travels have
disappeared into various brick-a-brack draws or what ever and have
not been seen for 18+ years, this hasn’t made her very happy.
So where/how do I start? I would imagine getting my hands on a book
or two will be a good start, so any suggestions on this front?
The other thing I’d like to try to establish is a ballpark value
figure for this pearl, so here is what I know…
The shell was collected (along with about 20 others) in the vicinity
of Tahiti about 20 years ago, they were not purchased, but collected
either from the sea floor or beaches (this one has some scratches
that indicate that the oyster was removed from the shell with a sharp
implement) at the time the collector was told they were worthless and
to dump them over board (thankfully she didn’t!!!). I’m almost
certain that they have not been artificially seeded (would
artificially seeded oysters be “running” free on the seafloor?), the
dome isn’t quite round, nor is it half as high as it is round, so it
is kind of a low dome shape about 5.5mm high and 14.71mm in diameter.
The colour transitions from a black grey on the lip “side” to a
sepia-grey on the oyster side, the iridescence is very uniform and
rather intense with hints of blues and greens and quite a bit of
peacock blue as well.
So with out a picture (I will post one within 24hrs) what would be
good guestimate for this little treasure of the sea?