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OPEC BORA BORA - BP 922 VAITAPE - POLYNESIE FRANCAISE - opecdirection@orange.fr


 

THE EXPERT APPRAISAL :

Cultured pearls, much like diamonds and other precious stones are qualified as GEMS.

                                                                                              - Identified the gem

As a result of this, an appraisal may be performed after having    - Determined its quality

                                                                                              - Classified its characteristics

 

 

1 - IDENTIFICATION

 

In order for the gem to be properly identified, O.P.E.C. have either the certificates laboratories of the « Gemological Institute of America - G.I.A. » or the « French Gemological Laboratory – Public Service For the Control Of Diamonds, Natural Pearls and Precious Stones » or the « Department of Pearl-culture (Papeete) ».

 

An identification examination is delivered and the O.P.E.C. pearls are offered for sale, each pearl being sold with its gemological certificate.

 

Widespread sale of tinted pearls and (remarkable) imitations of the Tahitian Black Pearl, have prompted the need for protection through thorough laboratory examinations.

 

 

3 - QUALITY

 

A cultured pearl is the result of depositing calcium carbonate (93%) on a nucleus originating from a fresh water bivalve shell.

 

Thickness and the quality of the pearl layers are essential to the quality of the luster and life-span of the pearl.

 

In order to be able to access how thick the Mother of Pearl (M.O.P.) is around the nucleus, O.P.E.C. x-rays every single pearl destined to be sold.

 

X-ray reading makes it possible to accurately assess the thickness of the M.O.P. and is also an essential factor in pearl appraisal.

Everyone in the Trade agrees on saying that the thickness of the M.O.P. is a critical element in the value of a cultured pearl and recommends that no compromise should be made in this respect.

 

People in the trade also recommend that all those not adhering to the above should not be considered as worthy of the trade. (refer to «The Pearl Buying Guide» par Renée Newman GG, International Jewelry Publications).

 

The Polynesian government has taken necessary measures to control the thickness of the mother of pearl on all the exported pearls. Therefore, it has limited the mother of pearl minimum size to 0,8 mm starting July 1st 2002.

 

     

2 - CLASSIFICATION

 

Once the identification has been performed by the laboratory and the reading of the x-ray photo has been completed, the Tahitian Black Pearl is classified according to its characteristics : shape, size, luster and surface quality. Perfect pearls are thus classified as follows : "A" then "B", "C", "D".

 


 

Once the GEM has been identified in the laboratory, the thickness of the M.O.P. evaluated and the classification

of its characteristics performed, the expert appraisal can then take place.

The gemological certificate may then be established and the pearls offered for sale.

 


 

 

OPEC: Its procedures with a pearl prior to offering it for sale

 

 

SOURCES OF SUPPLY

 

 

 

 

- pearl farms -
- Dealers -
- Economic Interest Group -

 

 

 

 

ANALYSIS

 

 

 

The Gemological Institute of America

 

X-ray examinations

French Gemological Laboratory

 

Thickness assessment of the M.O.P.

Department of Pearl-culture

 

Individual x-ray photo

 

CLASSIFICATION
(shape - size - luster - surface)

 

EXPERT APPRAISAL

 

 

 

 

 

Establishment of the certificate

 

 

 

 



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