Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 2008, Volume 44, No. 3

The Color Durability of “Chocolate Pearls” by Ballerina Pearl Co.

Treated-color brown Tahitian cultured pearls, known in the trade as “Chocolate Pearls,” have become increasingly prevalent in the market. As a result, it is important that the durability of the color treatment is well understood. Seven Chocolate Pearls supplied by Ballerina Pearl Co. and 12 untreated Tahitian cultured pearls (for comparison) were exposed to conditions of consumer care and wear—heat, household chemicals, daylight, and some typical cosmetics—to determine their effects on the color. The results were similar for both groups: They did not change color when exposed to daylight, cosmetics, and some chemicals; subtle changes were noticed after exposure to heat; and more significant changes were observed when the samples were exposed to chemically reactive household cleaning solutions.