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…