• Europium complex;
  • Europium(III);
  • cultured pearl;
  • colour;
  • structure


In the present study, through a transmission experiment, the effects of europium complex and Eu3+ on the pearl colour in the pearl oyster Pinctada martensii were evaluated. Europium complex and europium salt were respectively enriched by dietary green algae platymonas subcordiformi, and their toxicity to algae were analysed by the 96-h acute toxic experiment. Then, the green algae enriched europium complex and europium salt were respectively fed pearl oysters for 2 months, and the surface microstructures of cultured pearls were presented with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscope(AFM). The results show that toxicity of europium complex to algae is much lower than Eu3+ from lowest no observable effect concentration LNOEC values and 96h-EC50 values and two compounds can modify pearl structure and optimize pearl colour from SEM and AFM images. Taken together, our results, for the first time, show that rare earth complex can improve the pearl quality. This study provides an innovative approach for additional investigation of the influence of rare earth elements on pearls.