Sorry for my lack of background.
Join the club. It's only been a few days since I brought this to the attention of TONMO, so it is only natural that folks here would desire a ready resolution. We've been at it for nearly four years now.
All that is known is that the pearls in question are indeed non-nacreous natural aragonite pearls from a saltwater mollusk, claimed by Indo-Pacific pearl traders as Nautilus
with no reasonable alternative. They are certainly rare, and certainly fascinating (my avatar). It was just one year ago at the University of Granada that their Paleozoic (and modern Monoplacophoran
) aragonite microstructure was observed, since reconfirmed by state-of-the-art crystallographic analysis. This has brought some pretty significant scientific minds to bear, but the serious work is just getting started.
I refer to the mystery mollusk—until such time as pearl linkage should somehow be confirmed—by the tongue-in-cheek taxon 'Molluscus Abominabilis' (M. Abominabilis
). Nautilus or 'Naut', these pearls offer some pretty amazing theoretical challenges. And they have opened my completely untrained eyes to the world of Cephalopoda
, Paleontology and TONMO!
P.S.: If these pearls are indeed Nautilus, this will only be determined via a thorough, even unprecedented, investigation of Nautilus biology. The pearl experts are of very little use at this point…