China has given the world a new kind of pearl. Large, lustrous and colorful baroque shaped pearls ranging in sizes 13 mm to 20 mm have become the rage for jewelry designers. “The pearls are not just a typical metallic green color–in addition to hues of pink, grey and lavender- they are currently described as the new green pearl.”
Typically, pearl nucleation for cultured pearls are from the shell of the Tridacna gigas, commonly known as a giant clam. The Souffle Pearl is nucleated with something very natural and there is plenty of it–pond muck. Mud from ponds are formed into tiny balls, hardened in the sun and then inserted into the freshwater clams.
The result is a colorful pearl with a thick nacre and a bit of ‘pond water’ inside the hollow core. When the pearls are drilled and cleaned out they become very light weight, just like the perfect souffle popping from the oven. Jack Lynch, owner of Sea Hunt Pearls in San Francisco, must make the best souffles because he named the light, large and colorful puffy pearls perfectly.
credit: Blaire Beavers, JCK online