Professional Jeweler Archive: Nurturing the All-Natural

March 2004

Gemstones/News


Nurturing the All-Natural

Paspaley's South Sea cultured pearls now come with a no-enhancement guarantee


Luster and color are among a pearl’s most alluring attributes. But not every pearl company can boast these qualities without help from bleaching, dying or irradiation.

Australian pearl producer Paspaley Pearling Co. sells pearls without enhancement and decided recently to promote this feature with certificates guaranteeing natural luster and color. “The Certificate of Guarantee also assures jewelry purchasers and retailers Paspaley pearls have been nurtured in the company’s care until their sale and confirms the natural surface of each pearl is protected through the traditional method developed for natural pearls – individual hand-polishing,” says the company.

Upon harvesting, most cultured pearls undergo some degree of tumbling and bleaching to achieve more uniform and whiter color and a softening of surface blemishes. Pearls also can be dyed or irradiated to achieve interesting and salable colors. But pearl experts and gemologists say a cultured pearl’s durability is altered in the process. Bleaching tends to make thin nacre quite brittle, and some dyes are not considered permanent.

“We are pleased to formalize our longstanding promise by providing actual certification of the quality and authenticity of our pearls,” says Chairman Nicholas Paspaley.

• Australian Pearl Centre, New York City; (212) 398-9628, fax (212) 398-9342.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

A natural luster and color South Sea cultured pearl is courtesy of Paspaley.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications