Conch Pearl: Produced inside a large pink conch (Conch) that inhabits the Caribbean Sea, it is very well known. The beads are usually pink, with occasional white or coffee colored ones. They have a unique flame-like surface mark, and the shape of the quality is symmetrical on both sides, usually oval, with prices ranging from HK$8,000 to HK$80,000.
Conch pearl English name: Conch Pearl Refractive index: average is 1.51.Hardness: pink is the hardest at 5-6, brown is 4-5 Size: about 0.2-0.3 carat Chemical composition: CaCO3.
What are conch pearls?When it comes to pearls, there is probably no one who does not know, but when it comes to conch pearls, I am afraid that even jewelry experts may be completely unfamiliar. Because such pearls from the Caribbean Sea are hard to see in the market, people like to wear such jewelry to show off their unique personalities. Now, this interest in pearls is driving more and more consumers to look for something rare and not owned by anyone.
Conch pearls are a unique organic gemstone in terms of color, shape and unique flame pattern. Colors range from magenta, salmon pink-orange, gold to pink, and even white. Most conch pearls are oval in shape, with square rounds being rare. Most unique is its flame pattern, a mesmerizing flame pattern that does not even appear on every pearl that reaches gem quality. The ideal conch pearl is pink, oval, with variegated color and flame patterns.
Conch pearls are unique in that they contain a certain unique, bright flame beneath their glossy surface. This light is not only obvious from the outside, but it is also sometimes delicate and soft, and at other times it is very noble.
Another characteristic of these pearls is that they do not grow inside the mussel, but are slowly formed inside the conch. Any attempt to artificially cultivate conch pearls has ended in failure. Only about 50,000 conchs are found and only one usable pearl can be obtained after fleshing. Therefore, only a maximum of 2,000-3,000 conch pearls can be found each year.
The most typical conch pearls have a large band width in color, with the band width going all the way from light rose to bright pink, and sometimes all the way from grayish green to ochre brown. However, white conch pearls are now also found.
Conch pearls are unique and expensive organic gemstones. Technically, it should be called "nacreous encrusted foreign bodies". But in fact it is a calcareous concretion formed when a conch encrusts a worm that has burrowed into its body. Unlike pearl-forming pearls - which could be cultured in captivity by about 1920 - the technology for culturing conch pearls was just emerging, and the Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBO) was able to develop a new technology for culturing conch pearls. Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) claims that their research team has been able to culture nucleated pearls and non-nucleated pearls. I believe we will see more research soon.
While the shiny pearl is an important characteristic for pearls formed from pearl, the accompanying color is even more important for conch pearls. The variegated color of pearls appears in a very unique way: oysters and mussels have a shiny accompaniment (a rainbow of colors on the surface), while conch pearls have a cloud-like flame texture and a structure that looks like a human iris. The different appearance of the two is brought about by their structure. The pearls are caused by the reflection of light from the translucent aragonite and the diffraction of the smooth edges of the aragonite. The color change is not exclusive to conch pearls, many minerals have a color change effect, such as tiger's eye and cat's eye chrysoprase. However, of all the pearls, only conch pearls have a variegated effect. This variegated color comes from the centripetal fibrous crystals. The flame-like texture comes from the optical effect of vertical crystallization on the surface of the pearl.
These pearl-producing conchs generally live on the beaches of Florida in the United States, the Yudantan Peninsula in Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Arnty Peninsula in the Caribbean. Their existence should be attributed entirely to the creation of nature, and not to any artificial cultivation. This is what makes conch pearls such a rare and expensive natural jewelry. Any attempt to artificially cultivate conch pearls, at least so far, has invariably ended in failure. According to jewelry expert Joachim Hoffman (who has lived in the Caribbean for many years and has been processing and trading natural conch pearls there), such artificial cultivation of conch pearls simply cannot succeed.
Trials were conducted by the University of Miami and the Smithsonian Institute in the 1980s, but neither was successful," Hoffman said. The main reason for the failure was probably the overly complex form and construction of the conch shell and the fact that the conch is a creature known for its sensitivity. Due to the protective effect of the spiral shell, it was practically impossible to obtain the animal part of the conch, which is hidden deep inside the shell but is essential for the cultivation of pearls. It is also due to the presence of this shell that it is impossible to obtain pearls without harming the life of the conch."
When people mention the word conch, they immediately think of a beautiful meal, and in the opinion of the local inhabitants of the Caribbean, it is even a very nutritious food. This huge conch is 30 centimeters long, weighs about 3 kilograms and has a typical life span of 25 years. In Queen Victoria's time, the shells of these conchs were often shipped to England in large quantities by ship for the production of porcelain. Sometimes it was also used as a raw material for reliefs or small medallions. In addition, the conch was occasionally collected as a small souvenir because of its unique shape.
Since most of these conchs live in shallow waters or in waters above 30 meters under the sea, they cannot be caught with nets, but can only be salvaged from the surface by divers. But this is really a technical difficulty is quite high, and is a rather dangerous work, because out of the Gulf of boats are just some ordinary, not at all any special equipment of the boat. A ventilated rubber hose is connected to a pressurized machine, and then this rubber hose is connected to the boat to salvage the required conch day after day from January to June. No one here thinks about the dangers of huge waves lashing against them, because to get a great reward, one has to risk one's life fighting with currents and sharks. Therefore it is not uncommon for waves to break divers' air protection devices and wash such devices up into the shallow waters. Due to population growth and the environmental pollution that comes with it, many parts of the Caribbean are becoming increasingly unsuitable for the survival of conch. But one need not let this cause the conch to be extinct, because these conch can move to the depths where divers and fishermen can not reach. The periods of no-hunting and open hunting always alternate strictly, so the situation gets better after each period. For example, in Colombia there is a 10-year ban on snail hunting.
Only in about 50,000 snails can one get a usable pearl after fleshing. So in total, only a maximum of 2,000 to 3,000 conch pearls can be found each year. Only 20-30% of these pearls are used for jewelry, which is the main reason why natural pearls are very rare worldwide.
The most typical conch pearls have a large band width in color, with the color on the band width going all the way from light rose to bright pink, and sometimes all the way from grayish green to ochre brown. However, white conch pearls are now also found to exist. Among the rose colors, the predominant shape is the symmetrical oval, but of course some shapes are odd and peculiar, and the conch pearls vary in their respective weights. A typical conch pearl weighs approximately 2 to 6 carats, with larger conch pearls weighing up to 20 carats.
The Incas rated the rarity of conch pearls quite highly. For them, conch pearls were a symbol of some kind of divine voice. It is said that Queen Victoria's daughter-in-law, Alexandra, had a strong preference for all kinds of pearls, and it was she who made conch pearls a popular accessory in the 18th century. At the turn of the world, conch pearl jewelry saw a huge, explosive renaissance with its avant-garde artistic styling. At the time, most jewelry was made of a combination of expensive precious metals and inexpensive materials (such as glass and horn), so that the larger pieces were embellished with smaller, authentic conch pearls, which did serve as a "point of clarity". At international auctions, conch pearls are often sold at unexpectedly high prices, and we find in collections, such as that of Mr. Harry Weston, that the art of combining them is also very elegant. Now, creative designers have once again discovered this conch pearl. Not only because of its rarity, but also because of its unique shape, this conch pearl greatly compensates for the limitations of natural or artificially cultivated pearls.
A pure conch pearl necklace is almost unthinkable and certainly very rare. If the rose-colored beauty of the conch pearl could be revealed more through processing, then this alone would make the conch pearl jewelry unique, as it is almost impossible to find another sample similar to it. Therefore, in most cases, conch pearls are always set in a single ring in platinum or gold, or prominently displayed on necklaces, earrings and brooches. It is not only the natural and attractive rose color of the conch pearl that gives birth to a completely personalized piece of jewelry and allows the wearer to distinguish it from other pearls at a glance, but also its very distinctive character, as it exudes its own fine, soft luster. In order to maintain this fine, soft luster, one must not expose it to sunlight for long periods of time. As with other pearls, one should take great care of it, so that its luster will last longer and its beauty and uniqueness will be enhanced by the variety of colors. Therefore any piece of jewelry set with natural conch pearls is an honor and a sign for the owner who wears it.
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