Coin Pearls

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What exactly is a coin pearl? Today I was asked about “those flat pearls” and I realized it was a good time to talk about what those flat pearls really are. They are called coin pearls.

coin pearl jewelry

A coin pearl is literally shaped in the size of a coin, although thicker. They are usually about the size of a dime but they can be found both larger and smaller. A coin pearl has a nucleus and the nucleus, again is in the shape of a coin.

So, pearl farmers place a shell or bead disc inside a mussel or oyster and it forms over the disc shape. And out comes this gorgeous pearl with a variable surface (sometimes the surface of coin pearls in smooth and sometimes it is rough, spotted or irregular). I love it because it almost looks like someone hand-poured the pearl material over a disc shaped surface. But, sometimes there can be subtle notches, bumps and more on the surface of coin pearls.

Coin Pearl in a Shell

Another really great aspect to coin pearls is the Orient. Orient is the rainbow iridescence that comes to life in some pearls.  Pearls with an uneven surface texture are more likely to show orient which is why coin pearls usually display this feature. To read more about Orient, read my post on Oriental Pearls.

Coin pearls are a lovely display of how human intervention can be utilized to create beautiful pearls. In this case the cultured coin pearls are a gorgeous pearl option and make for some striking jewelry pieces. (Check out my new favorites, the Oriental Pearl Earrings)


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