Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 2012, Volume 48, No. 3

Spectral Characteristics of Natural-Color Saltwater Cultured Pearls from Pinctada Maxima

Natural-color saltwater cultured pearls (SWCPs) from Pinctada maxima were studied using UV-Vis-NIR and PL spectroscopy to better understand the mechanisms of their coloration and to separate them from other SWCPs with similar natural colors. Several spectral features were observed, suggesting that the samples’ bodycolor is due to a mixture of pigments. Although similar spectral characteristics are observed in SWCPs from Pteria sterna and Pinctada margaritifera, subtle differences permit the identification of the host mollusk.