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What are the secrets of the pearl industry?

August 04,2023

Beads are actually the simplest and most transparent variety in the jewelry category~there's no secret in this industry, right~

However, it's still good to borrow questions to give everyone a little knowledge about Pearls~

I hope everyone can better understand the common sense of 'pearls'~

1. Pearls  are not round and round

Speaking of pearls, what comes to mind must be such a perfect picture

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The impression of such a beautiful pearl image is too profound, so ordinary people will have the misconception that the pearls are all perfectly round and flawless. However, if you go to the pearl market and take a walk, you will know how rare round, flawless, and glossy pearls are. The pearls that retail customers see in the hands of merchants cannot be said to be one in a thousand or even one in a thousand. Taking two real-life photos of Zhuji Freshwater Pearl Breeding Base as an example

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Round? Flawless? Perfect? Are you stunned? If this is a nucleated  freshwater pearl , then let's take a look at the nucleated freshwater pearl - the beautiful all purple pearl picture in front of Edison pearl is the most popular variety among Edison pearls. Now, there are many live streaming shops on Taobao that specialize in selling this purple Edison, What is the real situation with some shops even taking chest shots to ensure that each one is perfectly round and flawless, with a rich purple color as the top grade? Let's take a look at this Taobao buyer show. It's very authentic. Pay attention to what the buyer wrote, there are only 2 flawless pearls. Let's take a look at the appearance of most pearls. This is the norm for true pearls

If you ask again, what about seawater pearls? Will Akoya and Nanyangzhu do the same? Of course. It is extremely difficult to grow into a round, flawless, and perfect pearl even if it is artificially implanted with a round pearl nucleus! Nowadays, customers have long been spoiled by retailers, such as flower beads, Heavenly Maidens, Special Selection, and meticulously selected high-end goods. In the eyes of customers, they are easily available and waiting for them to pick and choose. So where do ordinary people know that Akoy and Nanyang Zhu also have a lot of imperfections. The following pictures are Baroque in Akoya

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Let's take a look at the Baroque of Nanyang Pearl again

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This photo of the Pearl Pyramid can better illustrate the entire problem

Although the image may have become blurry over time, we can see that

There are very few pearls at the top of the pyramid, while there are many pearls at the bottom

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So, when you see round pearls, please be sure to understand this concept

A round pearl is not the norm, but a high-quality product selected after eliminating countless irregular pearls

2.Pearls are not flawless and flawless

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Retail customers have the impression of pearls - every pearl should be flawless and flawless, all deceived by advertisements~The most important thing pearl merchants want to say is - pearls are not flawless!!! Perfect and flawless pearls are very rare!!! Don't come up and say I want flawless pearls!!! Perhaps you want to say, why can't you see any flaws in the pearl pictures you took? This looks like every one is flawless

Firstly, the accuracy of mobile phone shooting is inherently limited,

Secondly, there is a certain distance for shooting,

Thirdly, the defects of pearls are actually very small, and it is difficult to detect defects on mobile phones,

Fourthly, when the pearl is bright, it has a certain masking effect on defects.

There are usually two types of pearl defects in the industry: naked pearls and necklaces. Please remember that the defect requirements for bare beads are higher than those for necklaces.

First, let's talk about the classification of defect levels for bare beads

Flawless, the pearl as a whole is flawless, but there may be certain growth patterns, water ripples, etc. If it is flawless and without lines, and the skin is completely smooth, then bare beads are the highest quality and most perfect. However, in reality, this naked bead really... Not at all, let's say very little~

After drilling, the pearl is flawless, meaning that after drilling, the pearl is flawless.

Extremely minor flaws, usually there are some lines, small dots, and slight dents on the pearl, which are not carefully observed or noticed

Minor flaws generally refer to situations where the surface of pearls has needle holes, small dents, etc., which are easier to see with the naked eye. There may be several areas where some styles of inlay can cover the defects, and the surface of pearls seen after inlay can be flawless. Pearl defects are relatively concentrated, and can be covered by inlay. After inlay, the surface of the pearl is flawless, which is known as "having a surface" in jargon. If you see a merchant saying "having a surface can make goods", it means that the pearl has defects and you need to choose a style for inlay. After inlay, the surface is flawless

There are many defects, such as needle holes and dents, and the inlay cannot completely cover them. Defects can be seen from any angle. The following defect diagram can intuitively sense the differences at different levels

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The following is a schematic diagram of the pearl grading standards of IGI International Gemological College,

But this standard is more theoretical, and the actual flaws in pearls are usually scattered

The defect requirements of the string are much lower than those of bare beads.

If we say a necklace is flawless, it means that wearing it on the body at a normal social distance does not show any flaws, which meets the definition of a necklace being flawless. Usually, pearl necklaces are worn without any visible defects.

High quality pearl necklaces are usually at the "extremely minor flaw - minor flaw level" in transactions, and even high-quality representatives in Akoya, such as flower beads, Heavenly Maiden, and even special options, cannot avoid some flaws. It may be surface protrusions, pits, wrinkles, growth lines, etc. We can see from the certificate of true scientific research in Japan that the defect ratings of Hua Zhu and Tian Nu are both at the level of 'micro'. According to the standards commonly used in domestic commerce, the defects of Hua Zhu and Tian Nu are 'extremely minor'.

At the same time, retail customers should also note that the degree of defects varies with the size of the pearl, especially on large-sized Nanyang pearls. The larger the size of the pearl, the more defects it has, and the standards will also be relaxed accordingly. If there is a pit on the Akoya pearl that is extremely minor/flaw, then the three pits on the Nanyang pearl are also extremely minor/flaw.

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The dents on the gold beads in the following image are also very small flaws

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This 12mm gold bead is also extremely flawless, clean overall, without obvious defects, and with small pits.

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Let's take a look at a Nanyang necklace with a maximum size of 14mm, which has obvious flaws, but after wearing it, the social distance is not obvious.

This degree is defined as below minor flaws. We usually describe it as' defective '

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I don't have a legend for the Nanyang pearl with particularly large flaws in my hand,

I found a typical example online - threaded beads of black pearls!

Australian white and gold pearls rarely have threads, while black pearls are very common~can be considered a typical representative of defects!

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So, without comparison, there is no harm.

When you look at the threaded beads and compare them with the black pearls in the picture below, you will understand that those tiny flaws are really nothing

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One of the favorite things retail customers who have no concept of natural pearls do after receiving pearl necklaces is to place them one by one under their eyelids to find defects.

When I saw some dents on the beads, I went to the seller to question why there were so many such large defects.

This retail customer's understanding of 'minor flaws' is completely different from the definition of minor flaws in the pearl industry.

They think the minor flaw is probably [overall perfection, only a tiny little bit

I'm sorry, if the pearl industry operates according to this standard, it may have already been destroyed~~

3. Pearls are not without optimization and treatment

Perhaps there are too many live broadcasts on Taobao's clams nowadays. After all the pearls are dissected from the clams, they are casually rinsed and punched to make jewelry, which makes many customers think that pearls do not need to be processed. In fact, pearls need to go through a series of processing before they can be made into jewelry. According to the information released by Japanese scientific research, the processing steps for pearls include:

1) Dehydration: The internal moisture of the pearl is removed. It refers to the use of alcohol or other substances to remove moisture from the interior of pearls.

2) Drying: 70 ℃, heat up for 1 minute. It refers to heating and drying at a temperature of 70 ℃.

3) Filling: The filling function (small voids are buried in the inner layer of the pearl layer). The moisturizing effect is high, and the light reflectivity is high. The filling agent is permeable to the inner layer of the pearl layer. The medication penetrates into the interior of the pearl to fill the small gaps, improve its moisturizing properties, and increase its reflectivity,

4) Grinding: The surface is slightly uneven and flat. Refers to polishing, smoothing out small bumps on the surface of pearls. The last few pictures of the pearl processing process are for everyone to see. These are the processing of freshwater pearls in Zhuji

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