Seed Pearl

File:Seed pearl.jpg
Late Georgian Seed Pearl Earrings. Photo Courtesy of Lang Antiques

Seed pearls are very small; less than a one-quarter grain in weight, smaller than 2mm in size and off-round in shape. Historically, in jewelry, they were used as a border, either singly as tiny accents or in clusters woven together to make up an entire piece of jewelry.

Gemological information

Gemological Information for Seed Pearls
Color White, Pink, Cream and Black
Crystal Structure Crystalline Layers
Refractive Index 1.53 to 1.685
Durability Good to Fair, can be scratched, will crush.
Hardness 2.5 to 4.5
Similar Stones Cultured Pearls, Imitation Pearls
Treatments Bleaching and Dyeing
Country of Origin Sri Lanka, Australia, Central America
Seed Pearl Care
Ultrasonic Cleaning Never
Steam Cleaning Never
Warm Soapy Water Safe - Dry String before Wearing
Chemical Attack Attacked by Acids and Perfume
Light Sensitivity Stable
Heat Sensitivity Will Burn with Extreme Heat

Gemology Sources

Gem Reference Guide, Los Angeles: Gemological Institute of America, 1988. Pp. 169-171.

Newman, Harold. An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1981. Pp. 274.

Schumann, Walter. Gemstones of the World, New York: Sterling Publishing, Co., 1977. Pp. 222-231.