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Vegetable-Ivory Pearls


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Sister Site: Bezoar Mustika Pearls: Animal/Plant Stones Worn as Charms and Amulets

From "Botanical Record-Breakers" Wayne's Word-- http://waynesword.palomar.edu/

[On Vegetable-Ivory Pearls]

"Intracellular crystals of calcium salts, such as calcium oxalate, are fairly common throughout the plant kingdom. Under a compound microscope, the glistening crystals resemble many-faceted diamonds. The stems of some bamboos, including spiny bamboo (Bambusa bambos), contain silica concretions composed of silicon dioxide. Some palm seeds contain vegetable ivory, hardened endosperm tissue containing a polysaccharide called hemicellulose. Like wood, vegetable ivory is essentially composed of dead cells; however, unlike grainy hardwoods it has a texture and hardness similar to ivory. In fact, vegetable ivory is remarkably dense, with a rating of roughly 2.5 on the scale of mineral hardness. Ivory-nuts can be polished in a stone tumbler, as you would polish agates and quartz, or by using tin oxide and a buffing wheel. Perhaps some reports of hard, white objects inside coconuts are remnants of dried endosperm tissue."

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