Pearl Exhibition at Gemgenève November 2023 edition

As a partner of the Gemgenève international gem and jewellery show, SSEF has contributed some pieces to the November 2023 exhibition on Pearls. On this page you will find further information about samples shown and other information of interest.

Half-cut pearl samples

This box shows part of the SSEF collection of half-cut pearls (that were assembled and polished by Dr. Henry A. Hänni)
From left to right (starting from the top row):
  • Natural pearl from the Persian Gulf
  • Beadless freshwater cultured pearl from China
  • Beadless freshwater cultured pearl from China
  • Freshwater cultured pearl from China with coin-shaped bead
  • Freshwater cultured pearl from China with baroque-shaped bead
  • Beaded freshwater cultured pearl (Ming Pearl) from China
  • Beaded Akoya cultured pearl from Japan
  • Beaded South Sea cultured pearl from Indonesia
  • Beaded golden South Sea cultured pearl from the Philippines
  • Beaded Tahitian black cultured pearl from French Polynesia
  • Tahitian cultured pearl with baroque-shaped bead, from French Polynesia

How does a natural pearl form?

Natural pearls have been collected for millenia. But how do they form? We know they form in wild oysters and are accidental formations. We know most of them form in the mantle region of the oyster. But why?
It turns out the widely spread theory of the sand grain or irritant coming into the oyster and being trapped and covered by the oyster and inside a growing pearl is not true. After studying hundreds of thousands of natural pearls, we’ve never found a grain of sand inside one of them.

Nobody is there live to see how an oyster forms a natural pearl, so this video attempts to describe and illustrate schematically our current understanding of how they could form.

Comment se forme une perle fine?


How does a cultured pearl form?

Ever wondered how a cultured pearl forms? Humans only discovered the process a little over a hundred years ago. It’s a fascinating process, requiring a number of different ingredients and skill.

This short video describes the process for beaded cultured pearls from French Polynesia. We also show 3D animation footage that lets you dive into the oyster to better understand how an oyster forms a cultured pearl.

Comment se forme une perle de culture?