• Gilli

P Is for Potato Pearls

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Potato pearls, it seems very strange to put these two words together, to combine the, let's face it not always terribly attractive, potato with the sublime beauty of pearls but potato pearls really is an official term used to define a particular type of cultured pearl.

Traditionally pearls were divided into three general shapes, spherical, symmetrical and baroque but with the development of cultured pearls new terms started to be used. Potato pearls are probably the most common shape seen today and the term is used to describe a round but not spherical pearls. The grading system for spherical pearls is very strict which means that some potato pearls can be described as near rounds (and be hard to distinguish from truly spherical pearls by the naked or untrained eye) but the majority of them will have a more oval shape.

The quality of potato pearls also varies. Lower quality potato pearls may have rings around them or noticeable blemishes while the highest quality will have a smooth lustrous surface and might even be considered perferable to a lower quality spherical cultured pearl.

The size of potato pearls, like all cultured pearls varies and in general the smallest and the largest will be the most costly, the smallest because of the difficulty needed to drill them, the largest because they have taken longer to grow.

P is also for one of the most popular of all colours of dyed pearls, peacock pearls. It's really hard to describe colour of these pearls as it changes as the pearls move and have an beautiful iridescence. Colours such as greens and purples are seen against a deep blue base.

So that's all for this blog, I'll work on getting my past ones loaded up here and my next blog in my A-Z of pearls will be Q.


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