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Chocolate Tahitians - A bunch of ???

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
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I've read in several places on the net that chocolate Tahitians are dyed and/or irradiated. Does anyone know for sure? dying is ok as long as I know. Irradiation is where I draw my line in the sand.

-A
 

ForteKitty

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you can nuke pearls?!? :confused:
 

The Old Pearler

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Irradiation is an old tecnique used on akoya pearls. It darkens the nucleus, which shows through the nacre making the pearl dark. This doesn't work with Tahitians because the nacre is opaque.

Chocolate Tahitian pearls are either bleached or dyed but never irradiated.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Forekitty:

http://cgi.ebay.com/GENUINE-AAA-Silver-Gray-Blue-tone-pearl-strand-/360314257448?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e4674028


according to their description, they're irradiated. I had read about freshwaters being irradiated before, but having read that about Tahitians was something else entirely.


Old pearler, thanks for that info. I wasn't aware that they also irradiated akoyas too. Treatments kinda suck, though there are some I don't mind as long as I know. But its too bad that the market has resorted to it.

Any idea how they keep the color from fading?? I'm quite fascinated by the process.

The other thing I've been hearing about is heating pearls to improve the luster. I've seen that in a few places but need to verify how true that is.


As I start to buy more pearls I don't want to be naive about whats going on about how they may be treated. IMO Its a good idea for consumers to be aware of these things.


-A
 

The Old Pearler

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The pearls in the bay auction have the color of irradiated akoya, but I'd be willing to bet that it is an organic dye treatment and not a radiation treatment. Chinese dealers will often talk about radiation and laser treatments, but they really just use dye. The cobalt radiation treatment is safe by the way. It isn't any more dangerous than a microwave. The radiation only affects the manganese in the nacre, turning it dark. Saltwater nacre doesn't have manganese. That's why only the bead changes color in akoya. The bead is made from freshwater mussel shell.

Color can fade even if the color is natural. You can bleach a strand by leaving it in the sun. With normal wear the color should be permanent though.

Heat treatment is one form of Mae-shori. It increases the luster. Just about every Akoya pearl sold today went through it and most of the South Sea pearls that passed through Japan, or most of them.
 

iLander

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Yup, they're dyed.
 

PearlsOfJoy

Rough_Rock
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irradiation is a bit of a myth, it does exist but its not really as common as many believe. As for Chocolate Tahitian pearls the actual process is a trade secret and will vary from processor to processor. That being said the process is believed to be a a combination of bleaching, dying and heat treatment. There are natural colored chocolate Tahitian pearls but they are not very common but they do exist.

With the dark Akoya pearls the process is more commonly silver nitrate not irradiation.
 

4Ranch Girl

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Feb 22, 2010
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Yes Chocolate pearls do exsist. There are a 3 in this necklace.

12-16-10a.jpg
 

PearlsOfJoy

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that small chocolate pearl on upper right part of the necklace is a really good example of a natural colored chocolate Tahitian - much prettier then the treated version in my opinion.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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4Ranchgirl, those are GORGEOUS :shock: I really love the circle tahitians. They are so organic and cool. The round ones are nice too, but I think I need to see some in person (I will do that by the end of this week :naughty: )

PearlsofJoy, I agree. The dyed browns are really not a match for the undyed ones, but I thought it was quite hard to get a full necklace of the natural browns?

-A
 

iLander

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Arcadian|1306963611|2935656 said:
4Ranchgirl, those are GORGEOUS :shock: I really love the circle tahitians. They are so organic and cool. The round ones are nice too, but I think I need to see some in person (I will do that by the end of this week :naughty: )

PearlsofJoy, I agree. The dyed browns are really not a match for the undyed ones, but I thought it was quite hard to get a full necklace of the natural browns?

-A
People seem to find full necklaces of all kinds of odd colors, this is a link to a full strand of aubergine.

http://www.tahitianpearls.biz/tahitian-pearl-necklace/aubergine-tahitian-pearl-necklace-tnml.htm
 

4Ranch Girl

Brilliant_Rock
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iLander that strand made my mouth water it is so yummy. I have a cherry pendant and earrings that are a dark green body with a cherry glow around the edges.

Arcadian who what where? Did you order some? Going for a lookielou? I was not fond of the circle pearls until I saw this very special stand. It is to bad that the picture is so washed out because they are so much more viberant in person and the ridges in some of them are one color and the body is another my jaw dropped when I first saw it.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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4RanchGirl, The rounds may not be here until next week, but I won't be here (i'll be traveling ;( ) I got my husband to promise to do some video if they're not here by tomorrow. When I get them I PROMISE to post all pertinent info!!

These circle ones made my mouth water... http://www.purepearls.com/tahitian-baroque-necklace-18-inch-11-0-18-8mm-aa-quality.html


iLander, I saw that strand and I like the color but have to admit that likely it would do nothing for my skintone. They are really lovely though! The dyed chocolate browns may show up bit better against my skin because they appear bronzy. (meaning, the natural ones may kinda disappear...lest y'all forget, i'm kinda dark :bigsmile: )

There are certain browns I avoid so I don't give the appearance of being kinda naked. :lol:


-A
 

PearlsOfJoy

Rough_Rock
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Arcadian|1306963611|2935656 said:
PearlsofJoy, I agree. The dyed browns are really not a match for the undyed ones, but I thought it was quite hard to get a full necklace of the natural browns?
-A
The natural browns are very rare and usually end up in single pearl pendants or in multi-color strands. You're really not going to see full matching strands of natural colored chocolate Tahitians since the amount of pearls needed to make a uniform strand is just too high. I'm not saying its impossible but it would take a LOOOONG time to match a proper strand even at the farm level, I haven't seen one yet.

The aubergine's could be my favorite coloration but are fairly common as far as colors go, beautiful strand you linked to Ilander.
 

innerkitten

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 1, 2003
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I've heard dyed. Though I'm sure some types of pearls do some in brown. I were buying dyed pearls I'd just get freshwaters. If I was spending more on a tahitian strand or something I'd want them natural.
 

PearlsOfJoy

Rough_Rock
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If I was spending more on a tahitian strand or something I'd want them natural.
The problem is you're not going to get a high quality round Freshwater pearl much bigger then 9mm - where as you could get a high quality round Chocolate Tahitian up to around 15mm. I hear what you're saying about dyed Tahitians and I tend to agree, I don't like seeing Tahitians dyed either.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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So how much does pearl size play into quality of the pearl? is it based on size alone or nucleation technique, or is it a combination of both or other things?

I guess I'm trying to find out if there's a particular marker for each pearl type that I should look at if it makes sense.

-A
 

PearlsOfJoy

Rough_Rock
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well I wouldn't say size is a factor in quality as there is lots of big low quality pearls on the market. If all other factors are equal then size will play a huge factor in price though. Really you need to think of Freshwater & Tahitian pearls at two separate markets with different looks, sizes and prices although there is a bit of overlap in the sizing at the high(FW) & Low(TAH) ends.
 
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