TIDBITS 05/23/10

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. We encourage you to forward this email to friends and colleagues. =========================================== A Melo Pearl
Or perhaps better yet would have been A Mellow Melo.
We have the Bivalve Mollusks (aka oysters) and we have the Gastropods
(snails and slugs and conches--aka sea snails--and such).
In the mollusk the pearl lustre is cause by "transparent overlapping
lamellae". It occurs to me suddenly that it would be a wonderful thing
if I knew what the devil I was talking about. However ... never to be
deterred by so insignificant a hurdle as ignorance ... I shall sally
forth. Pearls formed in gastropods however have a different kind of
lustre and when fully formed they show a gorgeous pattern called Flame
I digress. As long as I'm talking about gastropods ... did you know
that snails are equipped with both male and female organs ... so that
when they're doing each other ... they're really doing each other.
Quaint ... wouldn't you say?
Distinct Flame Structure creates a chatoyant effect. These pearls are
part of a family called Volutidae and have their source in the waters
around Vietnam. They are among the rarest gems in the world.
Belief among the Chinese and the Japanese and the Vietnamese has it
that pearls were created in heaven from droplets that fell from the
Dragon in the Sky. These droplets descended--as droplets are often
wont to do--into open shells in the water. And then ... like so much
fertilizer ... moonbeams nourished the Dragon Droplets and they grew
into pearls.
For those of you who are still naive enough to believe that old saw
about a grain of sand falling into the oyster (or gastropod) and then
protective coating forming around that grain of sand in order to
prevent irritating delicate oyster flesh till said grain grew into a
pearl ... fuggedaboudit. Dragon Droplets folks. And nothing else.
Melo Pearls were highly valued by Vietnam Emperors mostly because of
the relationship the Pearl held with the Dragon. Interestingly enough
... the characteristic Flame Pattern of natural Melo Pearls coincide
with the representation of pearls in oriental art ... always portrayed
within a flaming surround.
Now with all this yammering ... I would imagine there might be one or
two of you out there anxious to see such a pearl. Well you lucky dogs
... I have one. It is oval. It measures approximately 13.35-13.60 MM x
16.35 MM. It is bright orange. It is undrilled. It is worth about
$110,000.00. In my humble opinion ... a good place to store this pearl
would be in last week's platinum handbag.
So now go ... take a look. Enjoy. A thing of beauty is a joy in
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits...may I
direct you to my home page at
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where you will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says Current Tidbits ... and you will see represented on our pages a rare Melo Pearl of exceptional beauty and value. And there ya have it. That's it for this week folks. Catch you all next week. Benjamin Mark
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