From the courts of ancient emperors, to the royalty and celebrities of today, pearls have been adored as a sign of wealth and exquisite taste.
Always prized, forever fashionable, the pearl is the only gem created by a living creature, and the oldest known to man.
Cultured or freshwater pearls are considered to offer the power of love, money, protection and luck. Pearls are thought to give wisdom through experience, to quicken the laws of karma and to cement engagements and love relationships. They are thought to keep children safe.
To offer pearls to a loved one is to present her with the very finest of nature’s gift. It is, quite simply, ‘The Queen of Gems’.
No longer are pearls simply round or white or suitable only for the more mature lady, the latest jewellery fashioned from Cultured Freshwater Pearls is available in a truly contemporary range of colours, shapes and designs.
The most valuable pearls are perfectly symmetrical, relatively large and naturally produced. They have a shimmering iridescence which is called orient lustre. The principle oyster beds lay in the Persian Gulf, along the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, and in the Red Sea. Chinese pearls come mainly from freshwater rivers and ponds, whereas Japanese pearls are found near the coast in salt water.
There are many types of pearls:
- Natural Pearls – made without any human interference.
- Cultured Pearls – made when a foreign substance is intentionally introduced into a living oyster.
- Baroque Pearls – pearls that have irregular shapes.
- Keshi Pearls – are an extremely rare form of pearl from the Japanese Akoya oyster found only in the Sea of Japan. Their colour and lustre remain unchanged throughout time.
- Blister Pearls – pearls which grow attached to the inside of the shell.
- Freshwater Pearls – pearls which form in freshwater molluscs.
- Mabe Pearls – cultivated blister pearls.
- Seed Pearls – small, tiny pearls used in Victorian jewellery.
Pearls vary in colour from white to those with a hint of colour, often pink to brown, grey or even black. Each colouration will depend on the type of mollusc and the water where the mollusc lived.
Because the nacre is organic, pearls are very sensitive to extreme heat, perfumes, dryness, and humidity.
Care should be taken when storing them.