Fireball pearl is the trade name for a type of beaded freshwater cultured pearl. Pearl farming in freshwater started to commercially develop in Japan in the 1960s in Lake Kasumigaura based on a new type of hybrid mussel made between the Japanese Hyriopsis schlegelii, and the Chinese Hyriopsis cumingii. These cultured pearls, known in the trade as Kasumiga, had small production and today only three farms are reportedly in operation. In the beginning of the new millennium, this hybrid was used again with an innovation by inserting a round 9 to 12 mm shell bead as a nucleus into an existing pearl sac that resulted from a previous culture in the mussel's mantle. The process is known as CBSB (coin-bead/spherical bead) referring to the two stages of this long process. This second generation beaded cultured pearl could reach considerably larger sizes in rounds and, when in baroque shapes, could reach up to 25 mm long displaying a solid irregular tail coming from a bulgy body, resembling a fireball, hence the name.
If you wish to know more on these and other freshwater cultured pearls, join pearl guru Jeremy Shepherd at the Home Gemmology webinar Tuesday, July 28 (2 pm London).
Check timezone before registering at www.ruigalopim.com/events