The distinction of natural from cultured pearls traditionally has been based on X-radiography. X-ray computed microtomography (μ-CT) has recently been applied to gain more insight into pearl structures. Using this technique, this article presents features observed in a selection of natural pearls and beaded and non-beaded cultured pearls. Based on these observations, μ-CT is shown to be a powerful tool for pearl identification.
Supplementary Videos (see below)
Figures 1a and 1b Two Natural PearlsPlay
Figure 2 A Beaded Cultured PearlPlay
Figures 3a, 3b and 3c Two Non-beaded Cultured PearlsPlay
Figure 4 A Non-beaded Cultured PearlPlay