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Structural, Mineralogical, and Biochemical Diversity in the Lower Part of the Pearl Layer of Cultivated Seawater Pearls from Polynesia

  • Jean-Pierre Cuif (a1), Alexander D. Ball (a2), Yannicke Dauphin (a1), Bastien Farre (a1), Julius Nouet (a1), Alberto Perez-Huerta (a3), Murielle Salomé (a4) and C. Terry Williams (a2)...


A series of Polynesian pearls has been investigated with particular attention to the structural and compositional patterns of the early developmental stages of the pearl layer. These initial steps in pearl formation bear witness of the metabolic changes that have occurred during the pearl-sac formation. The resulting structurally and biochemically complex structures have been investigated using a variety of techniques that provide us with information concerning both mineral phases and the organic components. Results are discussed with respect to our understanding of the biomineralization mechanisms, as well as for the grafting process.


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