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fossilnut

Blister Pearls

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fossilnut

I have never found pearls before so I am posting for confirmation. I have seen modern blister pearls at rock shows. Also wondering if these are fossil or modern day. The background for these finds is my wife had oysters locally and one had what we believe is a blister pearl. She seems to have an affinity for pearls as she has found 4 pearls (not blister)--2 in mussels and 2 in oysters. A few days later while walking the beach I found the large 1 1/2 inch pearl in a piece of quahog (Mercenaria) shell. Then I found other quahogs with interior coatings that differed from the normal shell. These had small raised bumps or "pimples".  Then my wife found a cockel shell that had a small cluster of pearls. i wonder if these are possible Pliocene fossil pearls rather than recent? There are Miocene/Pliocene fossils shark teeth and fish material. Are these in fact blister pearls and how do I preserve them? Thanks for looking at these.First picture is modern oyster with blister pearl.

 

 

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Quahog blister pearl--fossil pearl?

 

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fossilnut

quahog with blister pearls

 

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quahog with blister pearls

 

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fossilnut

cockel with cluster of blister pearls

DSCN4917.JPG

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Plax

next to last pic is clam's reaction to being parasitized by Cliona? boring sponge.

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fossilnut

Thanks Plax and Abyssunder for the information. I'm still curious if the large pearl is fossil or recent. Any ideas on how I could tell-since this is a beach find versus in situ? I did see online recent quahog pearls that are a beautiful violet/purple color. In the picture of a whole valve, you can see the light purple color on the lip. This may be from the southern variety of quahog which almost all the ones in NMB were like. The northern version has a dark blue lip-the Indians used to make wampum beads. The lack of color in the large pearl may be either from exposure to the sea water and sun on the beach or because it is a very old fossil (Plioocene).

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abyssunder

To eliminate any speculation related to the possible age it can be used the Uranium-series dating of the quahogs, then the data can be compared with the ones from here , in my opinion. :)

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fossilnut

Thanks for posting this interesting article. My appreciation

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abyssunder

You are welcome ! :)
It's an interesting thread, btw.

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frankh8147

 "I'm still curious if the large pearl is fossil or recent. Any ideas on how I could tell-since this is a beach find versus in situ?"

 

Good question. It's been my experience that free matrix fossilized pearls are very difficult to confirm; there aren't really too many dependable ways to test them. That said, I will be following this thread closely!

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Megaselachus13

Firstly my apologies to Fossilnut for making use of his post. But same as him I need confirmation about this specimen. Found it a few months ago at Pliocene marine levels. Mainly echinoids, brachiopods and shells are found at the outcrops. When I saw it in the matrix I thought it was an agate, so I didn't extract it very delicately and I left some shell fragments where it was, they were adhered to the flat side of the object below. Cleaning it at home it broke in two pieces due to humidity because I brushed it under water.  It still maintains fragments of it with a different structure that are thin and flat with a fibrous columnar section. It's the only one I've found since I know the area (nerly 10 years).

I have consulted to several colleagues and their opinions vary since it's not a fossil that it's calcareous algae. It consists of calcium carbonate in theory, the pin stripe it. 

Certainly it bears great resemblance to some current and fossil blister pearls that I've seen on-line. Excuse my bad english.

Pic 1.jpg

Pic 2.jpg

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Megaselachus13

It reminds me to the last one shown by Fossilnut by it's globular appearance. More pictures of it.

Pic 6.jpg

Pic 4.jpg

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fossilnut

No apologies needed. Thanks for posting,  I am encouraged by your find in Pliocene strata that my finds might in fact be fossil. Mine was a beach find where items range from the Cretaceous, Miocene/Pliocene to Recent. If I understand correctly, it was attached to a shell. What type of shell? From the picture yours is large. What is the size? How are you preserving it? Hope we can hear from others. 

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Megaselachus13

It was attached to a bigger piece of shell that crushed. Remains of the shell can be seen in the two first images, are darker and flatter and are adherited. I'm not sure wich species belongs to because this kind of shell allways appears in pieces. Biggest sections I've seen were around 7 centimeters, are flat and of continuous thickness and crystalline appearance, with perhaps a soft curve along it. May be they were too fragile to fossilize complete.

I am sure that it not belongs to Terebratula, Amussium, pectinid or oyster because their sections are different by thickness, color or structure. Other kind of mollusks are internal casts at this site.

The specimen is about 4,5 cm long and 3,2 cm. wide. I have not treated it, it's in a showcase.

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fossilnut

Thanks for the additional information. In your original post you say " while cleaning it under water it broke into 2 pieces". Does this refer to the shell matrix and not the pearl itself?  BTW I think it is very beautiful and a rare find. Congratulations

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Megaselachus13

A picture is worth a thousand words. Image taken after drying and before gluing. Your pearl cluster regardless of it's age is very beautiful and rare too.

Pic 8.jpg

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abyssunder

That's a really nice blister you have, one of the biggest in the world. It has the same characters as the specimen in question. Thanks for posting it here. :)

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