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Dye medicines in yellow or “golden” cultured pearls have enhanced to the point that a few examples demonstrate minimal surface proof. Notwithstanding normal gemological perceptions, systematic procedures, for example, UV-Vis reflectance and Raman photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy are basic to distinguishing the treatment. This study showed three signs of dye treatment: wide reflectance highlights somewhere around 410 and 450 nm, the absence of a reflectance highlight at 350 nm in the UV-Vis spectra, and extreme fluorescence in the unmistakable range under 514 nm wavelength laser excitation. These symptomatic components might be utilized freely, notwithstanding when no visual confirmation of a dye exists.

Most dyed yellow or “golden” cultured pearls can be related to routine minute perceptions. Dye buildups as a rule amass inside of drill gaps and surface imperfections, making them simple to distinguish with amplification. Now and again, long-wave UV fluorescence and UV-Vis reflectance spectrophotometry have been utilized to give additional confirmation of dyeing (Elen, 2002; Qi et al., 2008; Chen et al., 2009).

As of late, however, GIA has started getting more “golden” cultured pearls with a common UV fluorescence or UV-Vis reflectance attributes yet no proof of dye buildup. As handling procedures keep on enhancing, the creators trust it is vital to overhaul the exchange on the circumstance to ensure that present recognizable proof techniques are acceptable with the medicines. The expression “golden” is utilized to portray mid-to light-tone cultured pearls with a solid immersion in the yellow and orangy yellow tones (Gemological Institute of America, 2000).

These cultured pearls are shaped inside of Pinctada maxima (gold-lipped) shellfish and have picked up notoriety throughout the years with the assistance of broad showcasing endeavors by the business (Shor, 2007; “The breathtaking golden pearls of the Philippines… ,” 2010). Meanwhile, expanding measures of dyed “golden” South Sea and freshwater cultured pearls (“Supplier cautions exchange against dyed golden,” 1998; Roskin, 2005) and, to a lesser degree, heat-treated “golden” items have likewise showed up available (Elen, 2001 and 2002).

Identifying the treatment remains a critical thought in pearl recognizable proof, and a progressing research examination at GIA means to give answers for the issue. The present study concentrates on the recognizable proof of eight specimen gatherings of yellow or “golden” cultured pearl utilizing routine gemological testing strategies and progressed logical systems (figure 1).

Figure 1. These cultured pearls speak to each of the eight specimen bunches. Top column: NSSP, NSSM, DSS, and DSS2. Base column: DSS3, DAK, DAK2, and DFW. Photograph by Sood Oil (Judy) Chia.

Figure 1. These cultured pearls speak to each of the eight specimen bunches. Top line: NSSP, NSSM, DSS, and DSS2. Base line: DSS3, DAK, DAK2, and DFW. Photograph by Sood Oil (Judy) Chia.

The known dyed specimens displaying no hints of surface dye focuses were singled out for expository testing. The outcomes recommend that best in class systems, for example, UV-Vis reflectance and PL spectroscopy can distinguish the dye notwithstanding when surface fixations are missing. More than 100 actually shaded yellow cultured pearls were tried with the UV-Vis reflectance method to give extra reference datasets. A percentage of the last were likewise tried with PL for the same reason. Ultimately, three warmth treated yellow cultured pearls were tried; their outcomes are examined quickly, since the specimen size is negligible.


An aggregate of 69 yellow and “golden” cultured pearls going from 6.5 to 14 mm were concentrated on. The eight example bunches comprised of:

10 actually hued South Sea cultured pearls from the Philippines (NSSP)

8 actually hued South Sea cultured pearls from Myanmar (NSSM)

21 dyed South Sea cultured pearls, in three separate gatherings (DSS, DSS2, and DSS3)

20 dyed akoya cultured pearls, in two separate gatherings (DAK and DAK2)

10 dyed freshwater nonbead-cultured pearls (DFW)

These examples were acquired from dependable sources who gave data on the specimens’ provenance. Ongoing miniaturized scale radiography examination with a Faxitron CS-100-AC affirmed they were all cultured pearl items. Every example was inspected with a standard gemological magnifying lens, and photomicrographs were taken utilizing a Nikon SMZ 1500 stereo-magnifying instrument. Fluorescence responses were seen in an obscured room utilizing a customary 5-watt long-wave (366 nm) UV light. UV-Vis reflectance spectra were acquired utilizing a Perkin Elmer Lambda 950 UV-Vis spectrophotometer with a coordinated circle extra.

Chosen tests from every gathering were additionally tried with a Thermo Nicolet Nexus 670 FTIR spectrometer and a Renishaw inVia Raman magnifying instrument. The three warmth treated cultured pearls were acquired from a solid source. What’s more, more than 100 actually hued yellow or “golden” South Sea cultured pearls (from Jewelmer) were tried utilizing an Ocean Optics USB 2000+ UV-Vis spectrometer. This unit takes under one moment to run a pearl test, making it perfect for quickly analyzing mass amounts. Some of these cultured pearls were additionally tried with PL spectroscopy. A rundown of the different specimen bunches and propelled testing procedures is given in table 1.


Gemological Observations and UV Fluorescence. Every single cultured pearl displayed light yellow, orangy yellow, yellow, or solid yellow bodycolors of uniform shading appropriation with the exception of the dyed specimens from gathering DSS3, which demonstrated unmistakably uneven shading conveyance. Under amplification, concentrated dye components were seen in three extra dyed gatherings (DSS2, DAK2, and DFW), while the other two dyed gatherings (DSS and DAK) demonstrated no proof of surface treatment (figure 2).

Figure 2. These minute pictures demonstrate the surfaces and cross-segments of agent tests from gatherings NSSM, DSS (brilliant dyed), DSS2 (low-quality dyed), and DAK (great dyed). Photographs by Chunhui Zhou; amplified 10×–70×.

Figure 2. These minute pictures demonstrate the surfaces and cross-segments of agent tests from gatherings NSSM, DSS (brilliant dyed), DSS2 (low-quality dyed), and DAK (great dyed). Photographs by Chunhui Zhou; amplified 10×–70×.

To make matters considerably all the more difficult, cultured pearls from the DSS bunch did not have bore gaps, which serve to upgrade the dissemination of the dye material, recommending that an alternate dyeing strategy was connected to them. Agent tests from gatherings NSSM, DSS, DSS2, and DAK were sliced down the middle to watch the shading appropriation all through their cross-sections.

Run of the mill concentric development rings were noted on the nacre of the normally shaded example, while the development structures in the dyed cultured pearls were to a great extent veiled by the invasion of dyes. The vicinity of a drill gap in the specimens from DSS2 and DAK had brought on the dye materials to diffuse into the dot used to culture the pearls. UV fluorescence for the most part took after the body-shade of the example. Actually hued orangy yellow to solid yellow cultured pearls ordinarily displayed powerless yellow fluorescence, while lighter yellow examples showed moderate to solid yellow fluorescence.

It is a testing undertaking, be that as it may, to precisely and reliably portray fluorescence shading, subsequent to there is no reference for examination. In this study, dyed specimens likewise indicated differing degrees of yellow or orangy yellow fluorescence, yet not sufficiently unmistakable to reliably isolate them from the normally hued assortment. Tests from DSS3 and DFW indicated uneven shading circulation because of dye focuses on their surfaces. General perceptions and estimations are appeared in table 2.

UV-Vis Reflectance Spectra. Inside of every gathering, UVVis reflectance properties were by and large predictable. Normally hued tests (NSSP and NSSM) indicated diminishing reflectance toward the lower noticeable and long-wave UV range, with inconspicuous neighborhood reflectance troughs at around 350 and 440 nm (figure 3). These reflectance troughs might be because of (yet not equivalent to) ingestions at particular wavelengths. Cultured pearls from five of the dyed gatherings (DSS, DSS2, DSS3, DAK, and DAK2) all demonstrated unmistakable reflectance qualities inside of the same extent, however with more extensive, more noticeable, and at times moved reflectance highlights somewhere around 410 and 450 nm, predictable with past discoveries (Elen, 2002; Qi et al., 2008; Chen et al.,2009).

A portion of the dyed cultured pearls (DSS, DAK, and DAK2) additionally did not have the 350 nm reflectance highlight, while others (DSS2 and DSS3) demonstrated a more extreme slant somewhere around 430 and 480 nm than that of actually shaded examples (figure 4), likewise steady with past discoveries. Dyed freshwater cultured pearls demonstrated reflectance designs like those of the normally shaded examples inside of the lower obvious extent, yet did not have the 350 nm reflectance highlight. FTIR, Raman, and PL Spectroscopy Results. We performed infrared and Raman spectroscopy on agent tests from each of the eight gatherings. The FTIR spectra just demonstrated the vibrational methods of aragonite, the real part of all pearls, dyed or actually shaded (figure 5). Raman spectroscopy was performed with both 514 and 830 nm lasers. The 830 nm laser gave vastly improved top determination while the 514 nm laser (information not appeared) enlisted altogether higher foundation fluorescence in the dyed and actually shaded samples.

To plainly envision the fluorescence attributes of these examples upon laser excitation, we performed PL estimations. These affirmed that the greater part of the dyed cultured pearls fluoresced at much more elevated amounts than normally hued pearls—in a couple cases, diminished force must be utilized to anticipate top oversaturation—production it a helpful device in recognizing a few instances of dye treatment (figure 7). A more valuable approach to take a gander at the information, however, is to look at the proportion between general fluorescence power (600–700 nm) and the tallness of the principle aragonite top at 545 nm (i.e., the F/A proportion; figure 8). Prevailing or critical aragonite top intensities were seen in the spectra of normally shaded examples, with the F/A proportion reliably beneath 5. For dyed examples, the proportion shifted more because of the distinctive dye materials utilized, yet they will probably have F/A proportions of no less than 10.

Extra Reference Collection Data Results. Notwithstanding the 18 allegedly actually shaded yellow examples, we analyzed more than 100 apparently normally hued yellow to orangy yellow cultured pearls of different immersions utilizing UV-Vis reflectance and PL techniques. These gave helpful baselines to looking at obscure specimens. The UV-Vis reflectance aftereffects of these normally hued yellow examples demonstrated steady spectroscopic attributes, like those saw in gatherings NSSP and NSSM (once more, see figure 3). Low PL fluorescence signs (and F/A proportion) were additionally seen in the greater part of the cultured pearls. Fabricating and keeping up an otherworldly database from actually shaded yellow specimens of different immersions (figure 9) is critical for relative investigation and distinguishing proof of dye treatment.

Figure 9. Actually shaded cultured pearls for the most part show predictable UV-Vis reflectance attributes and less-exceptional PL highlights, which might be helpful in distinguishing obscure examples. Photograph by Adirote Sripradist.

Figure 9. Actually hued cultured pearls by and large show reliable UV-Vis reflectance attributes and less-exceptional PL highlights, which might be helpful in distinguishing obscure examples. Photograph by Adirote Sripradist.

Heat-Treated Yellow Cultured Pearls. Notwithstanding dye treatment, heat-treated yellow cultured pearls have been accounted for (Elen, 2001). The careful instrument of shading change is still indistinct. One hypothesis recommends that warming changes the amino corrosive structures of conchiolin proteins, adjusting their physical and synthetic properties (Akiyama, 1978). Another probability is that warming proteins and sugars (found in conchiolin) at high temperature under middle of the road dampness levels and soluble conditions will advance Maillard response, bringing about a shading change like the heating so as to carmelizing impact brought on numerous sorts of food.

The three apparently warm treated cultured pearls were tried utilizing UV-Vis reflectance and PL spectroscopy. The UV-Vis spectra did not have the undeniable wide reflectance design found in dyed specimens, reliable with a prior report (Elen, 2001) that their warmth treatment did not include any expansion of dye materials. Yet the PL spectra indicated amazingly serious fluorescence, which could be valuable in isolating them from normally hued tests. A brief outline of these outcomes shows up in box A.


The dyeing of cultured pearls has been a typical practice for a long time (Alexander, 1960; Liddicoat, 1962; Johnson and Koivula, 1999), and it can as a rule be identified through cautious examination of the surface. In our study, four of the six gatherings of dyed yellow or “golden” examples could be distinguished through routine tiny perception. Concentrated dye buildups and uneven shading dispersion gave complete proof. These items are typically treated in the wake of boring, which was affirmed by the dye buildup inside and around the drill openings. The other two gatherings (DSS and DAK) had generally clean surfaces, and even a prepared gemologist would experience issues in isolating them from actually hued tests. Cultured pearls from the DSS gathering were dealt with without the guide of drill gaps, while tests from the DAK gathering were dyed either before or in the wake of boring. On the off chance that they were dyed subsequent to penetrating, further treatment, for example, fading might have been utilized to help any shading fixations that amassed close to the drill holes.

All the yellow or “golden” cultured pearls indicated diminishing reflectance in the violet/blue area of the obvious range, which compares with the shading reflected, as per integral shading hypothesis and human shading observation. Be that as it may, normally hued tests showed a steady lessening in reflectance, with unobtrusive neighborhood reflectance troughs at demonstrated huge reflectance troughs somewhere around 410 and 450 nm. These unmistakable reflectance qualities can be clarified by the distinctive reflectance properties of common colors and the transcendently single-segment simulated dyes connected to the treated items, and in addition the variable centralizations of either.

Interestingly, the starting point of the golden shading found in South Sea cultured pearls might likewise be gotten from nano-composite structures of the nacre, as reported by Snow (2004), which advances clarify the diverse reflectance highlights between normally hued and dyed cultured pearls. For the DFW bunch, no huge contrasts were found in the violet/blue area of the unmistakable range, to some degree since they contained less dye than alternate gatherings. A percentage of the dyed gatherings likewise did not have the nearby reflectance trough at 350 nm, which happens solely in cultured pearls with yellowish tones and might be credited to a specific shade. Albeit some past studies have reported the vicinity of normal shades in actually hued freshwater, Tahitian, and Pteria species tests (Karampelas et al., 2007; Bersani and Lottici, 2010), our study found no conspicuous contrasts utilizing either infrared or Raman spectroscopy. Low shade or dye fixations, the area of these materials inside nacre platelets, and solid sign obstruction by aragonite gem structure of the pearls could all make it hard to distinguish any color or dyes utilizing Raman spectroscopy. Yet dyed cultured pearls for the most part show higher PL under 514 nm laser excitation, likely an outcome of the fluorescence qualities of the specific dye(s) connected. The outcome concurs with prior studies (Liu and Li, 2007; Chen et al., 2009).


While most dyed yellow or “golden” cultured pearls can at present be identified without any difficulty utilizing amplification, some show clean surfaces without any proof of dye. We have exhibited that these can be distinguished by nondestructive, progressed instrumental procedures, for example, UV-Vis reflectance and PL spectroscopy. Our study recommends three signs of dyeing: expansive reflectance troughs somewhere around 410 and 450 nm, an absence of a reflectance highlight at 350 nm, or extreme fluorescence in the obvious range under 514 nm wavelength laser excitation. At the point when testing cultured pearls utilizing propelled instrumentation, similar examination between normally hued and dyed examples is an essential part of the ID process in certain cases.

GIA has gathered arrangements of information from various normally shaded yellow or “golden” cultured pearls with shifting degrees of immersion to use as references for correlation against the spectra of obscure examples. Further examination of “golden” cultured pearls is required because of the boundless number of dye materials that can be utilized to treat rotten or poor quality goods.

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