Color and Overtone

Part of the Pearls exhibition.

Not Just Pearly White

Pearls occur naturally in a spectacular array of colors, ranging from white to gold, purple and black. A pearl's color depends on both the species of mollusk that produced the pearl and the environment in which the animal lived. In general, crystals of aragonite are white or colorless. The natural color of a pearl is mostly due to conchiolin, which contains organic pigments.