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Ana Vasiliu Blog

Pearl Oysters

Ana Vasiliu

At the end of the day, pearls are stone. These two look the part more than most in my collection of samples: a British oyster turned particularly heavy with mineral overgrowth including two pearls—a classically one-sided blister raised up like a finger next to the muscle scar, and a round one encased under translucent layers of calcite. Of oyster pearls, read on...

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One more layer

Ana Vasiliu

These pearls of mine never give me just the trifling details that I am asking for. A short few sessions of various microscopy methods usually do yield some scant expected views, embedded among a terrific mass of news—all of which does matter.
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Pearls of many layers

Ana Vasiliu

In the last post (please see the caption attached to three images on Pinctada maxima pearls—here) I wrote that finding nacreous pearls formed next to or within molluscan muscles is quite surprising, since muscles are involved in making a different kind of material to which they attach, not nacre. Of course, by 'surprising' I mean 'well worth looking into'. Now that I did look, I have found what I expected rather than anything surprising…
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Which pearls are natural, academically speaking

Ana Vasiliu

Looking forward to spending months on each pearl, years up to publication—my samples need to be natural pearls and be seen as such by random reviewers or, within reason, anyone inclined to thinking about natural pearls to the point that they'd be reading my writing. Should there be doubt, academic custom demands that reasonable doubt be stated. Truth be told, back when it all started, I had not given a second thought to this matter of natural pearl identification for my kind of scholarly use, since deciding—fairly off the cuff—to call for the most improbably anything but natural pearls for use as samples. Could pearls such as these be replicated in a controlled way...?
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A Tall Tale of Green Pearls

Ana Vasiliu

You'd need green shells to make green pearls—and there aren't many candidate makers in the sands of the world, just a few species including these False Jingles (Pododesmus) from British Columbia. A few of their pearls came to me for reasons unrelated to their color, but the fine deep green of some is what keeps them on my mind more than most. They helped me make sense of an old tall tale of pearling. Read more »

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Welcome

Ana Vasiliu

I will be spending much of this year breaking, slicing, polishing, shooting… then labeling and shelving natural pearls. The sum total ought to amount to a hefty catalogue for the current research collection of natural pearls held at my host institute, IACT. Read more »

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