This is not a Quahog pearl, is it?

by Diane
(Tampa)


I found this vintage screw back earring at a garage sale. It is not a section of a Quahog pearl, is it?
Thanks,
Diane

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Aug 26, 2012
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Thank you!
by: Diane

Thank you so much, Paula. You solved the mystery of this piece!

Aug 25, 2012
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Operculum Jewellery
by: Paula

This fascinating piece is in fact an operculum, meaning little lid a disc-shaped piece of shell, an anatomical structure which exists in many (but not all) groups of sea snails and freshwater snails and also in a few groups of land snails. The operculum is attached to the upper surface of the foot and in its most complete state; it serves as a sort of "trapdoor" to close the aperture of the shell when the soft parts of the animal are retracted. The shape of the operculum varies greatly from one family of gastropods to another. It is fairly often circular, or more or less oval in shape. In species where the operculum fits snugly, its outline corresponds exactly to the shape of the aperture of the shell and it serves to seal the entrance of the shell.
The operculum of certain species is sometimes used as a very inexpensive organic “gemstone” in rings, bracelets, amulets etc. These opercula are commonly known as "cats eye" (or more recently "Shiva's eye") particularly popular during the 19th and early 20th century most set in silver but those set in gold are ofcourse more desirable and valuable.

Aug 08, 2012
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Reply to Anonymous
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your comment. I may take it to a jeweler. I'm just curious as to what it is because it is so unusual.

Aug 08, 2012
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I don't think it's a quahog pearl
by: Anonymous

Hi Diane, No, I don't think that's a quahog pearl. At least it doesn't look like other quahog pearls. Have you taken it to a jeweler? Something like your earring would have to be seen in person by someone to help you determine what you have there. Thanks for asking.

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