GIA lab update: 'Mushroom' pearl
2012/08/17
A unique pearl that resembles a mushroom was recently submitted to the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) New York lab for testing.

A unique pearl that resembles a mushroom was recently submitted to the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) New York lab for testing.

Just like the fleshy fungus, the pearl has a cap with "gills" on the underside and a stem. It is also brown, which makes its striking likeness to a mushroom even more pronounced.

"Raman spectroscopy showed an aragonite peak, and EDXRF chemical analysis indicated the presence of Ca, as expected for a pearl. The absence of pigment/colour concentrations indicated that the colour was natural," GIA New York’s Akira Hyatt said in the G&G eBrief. "The surface appearance, primarily the intersecting flame structure and liquid inclusions, pointed to a mollusc of the Cassis genus (i.e., a large marine snail). Although we had no way to confirm this through testing, the owner said it reportedly came from a Cassis cornuta mollusc found in the Indonesian archipelago."


This ‘mushroom’ pearl is one of the most unusual pearls that the GIA has received for examination
Photo credit: GIA

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