Can Pearls Die?

American Pearls, Natural Pearls, Real Pearls versus Fake Pearls
can pearls die back side

Can pearls die? At first, this might seem like a silly question. The mussels, oysters and other mollusks that produce pearls are certainly alive but pearls are not. So how can they die?

Maybe instead of asking “can pearls die?” we should ask, “are pearls dead?” There is a phenomena known as dead pearls. This happens when a mollusk gets a deposit of minerals (or just plain muck) in their shell and it affects the growth of the shell. Maybe it simply discolors the shell or maybe it actually affects the structure growth of the shell. Either way, the minerals have an impact on the shell and that impact can also affect the pearl inside.

can pearls die

can pearls die back side

 

I know this looks blurry but what you are looking at is a pearl that is white on the top and brownish yellow on the bottom. If this pearl is dead, the result would be from the mineral deposit and not from any special coloring in the mussel. Once again, we go to our favorite American pearl diver to teach us more about dead pearls:

2 thoughts on “Can Pearls Die?

  1. So I was wondering is there a way to remove scuff marks from pearls I fell and scratched my ring….please help

    1. Hi Crystal! I wish! I got a beautiful bluish colored pearl on my trip to the sea of cortez last year and I dropped it on the sidewalk while biking with my boys. It now has the worst little scuff mark on it! So I know exactly how you feel! Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the appearance of our pretty pearls! They are such soft gems they can be easily scratched and there is no natural way to “repair” them.
      All the best to you!

      Warm Regards,

      India

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