Soufflé pearls


This new type of pearl appeared first at the 2010 Tucson Gem Show in the US and it was called Soufflé pearl. Soufflé pearls are Chinese freshwater cultured pearls that are grown after the first harvest of pearls has already happened. Jack Lynch of Sea Hunt Pearls, whom I met at the Hong Kong Jewellery Show, named the pearls Soufflé and has done great work promoting the pearls. Soufflé pearls were named after the French dessert, both being ‘fluffy and light’. 

source: Soufflé pearl earrings www.mariliissepper.com

The Soufflé pearl is an amazingly unique and fascinating baroque pearl with brilliantly radiant luster, reflecting the full chromatic spectrum of variant colors and orient from majestic gold, violet, lavender, blue to traditional and classic pure whites, metallic and deep greens. The nacre thickness is usually from 3mm and up, making the pearl nicely durable to wear. The pearls size ranges from 13 to over 30 millimeters with many pearls exhibiting extreme iridescence. 

source: Soufflé pearl earrings www.mariliissepper.com

The formation of the Soufflé pearl happens when the oyster is left with a pearl sac that is re-implanted, this time with a small amount of pond mud rather than the usual nucleus or mantle tissue. The pearl uses the mud as a nucleus and grows around it. Metal oxides present in the mud are believed to be the cause of the creation of the extraordinary luster and orient present in these pearls. 

source: Soufflé pearl earrings www.mariliissepper.com/products/vivid

This type of cultivation also eliminates the environmental problem of nucleation with bead implants from the threatened Tridacna gigas or giant clam. When Soufflé pearls are harvested, a hole is drilled to remove the excess mud that might still be present inside the pearl. Soufflé pearls are also much lighter than most of their cultured counterparts due to their hollow centers.