Glossary of Terms

Here’s a quick list of terms that are helpful to know when buying pearls that you might encounter on this site.

  • Nacre the combination of aragonite and conchiolin that accumulates on the outer surface of a pearl
  • Aragonite is made up of hexagonal, semi-transparent crystal platelets of crystalline calcium (CaCo3).
  • Conchiolin is the semi-opaque to “glue” that is layered between the aragonite platelets


  • White South Sea pearl conchiolin is usually clear to light grey or pale beige, which allows the pearl to appear “bright white” appearance that is so well-loved.
  • Golden South Sea pearl conchiolin is made up of darker pigments like orange and reddish-brown. This, along with other factors, creates the pearl’s famous golden color