tahitian keshi - keshi pearls and souffle pearlstahitian keshi - keshi pearls and souffle pearls

Keshi Pearls and Soufflé Pearls

Not all pearls are perfectly round and white. Learn about keshi pearls and soufflé pearls, two beautiful byproducts of the cultured pearl industry.

4 Minute Read

Cultured Pearl Byproducts

Certain byproducts can form over the course of pearl cultivation, such as the shell and the meat of the mollusk. In some cases, this can include a pearl that forms in an unexpected manner.

Keshi pearls and soufflé pearls are two kinds of marketable cultured pearl byproducts. They make perfect options for beautiful, affordable, and unique pearl jewelry.

What are Keshi Pearls?

Keshi pearls, or “accidental pearls,” develop when a mollusk rejects the bead nucleus intended to stimulate the growth of a cultured pearl. When this occurs, sometimes a piece of mantle tissue that accompanied the bead remains in the mollusk. A pearl sac may form around this tissue and ultimately yield a pearl. However, without the bead nucleus, these pearls are usually small and baroque, not the valuable round shapes pearl farmers typically intend to grow.

Composed entirely of nacre layers, keshi pearls have remarkable luster. In this respect, they’re very similar to natural pearls. In fact, it’s impossible to determine if a keshi pearl formed in a nucleated mollusk. Nevertheless, it’s much more likely that each keshi pearl formed as a cultured pearl byproduct than as a natural pearl in the wild. (In…

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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