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abalone blister pearls

half-nacreous natural pearls formed inside an abalone shell.

acid test

the use of hydrochloric acid to test the authenticity of pearls
 

adductor

the muscle that opens and closes a bivalve mollusk’s two shells

Ago Bay, Japan

home to Mikimoto’s first pearl farm, and to many akoya farms today
 

akoya

the Japanese term for the Pinctada fucata martensi mollusk

 

akoya keshi

a formation of a small pearl found in the akoya mollusk as a byproduct of the pearl culturing process

akoya pearls

cultured or natural pearls from an akoya mollusk

ama

 the historical female pearl divers of Japan who were trained to dive without scuba gear or air tanks

ama

 the historical female pearl divers of Japan who were trained to dive without scuba gear or air tanks

aragonite

calcium carbonate crystals that are a component of nacre and mother-of-pearl, and arranged in a brick-like pattern

atoll

a ring of coral that nearly encloses a lagoon, and is considered the best place to farm cultured pearls in the Pinctada margaritifera mollusk