The History of Pearls
Until recent times and the era of the "cultured pearl", pearls have been a hallmark of great wealth. Pearls were the most valuable of gemstones for centuries, owned only by nobility and the wealthiest of families. Now through cultivation, pearls can be enjoyed and owned by many. Although no longer requiring a "King's Ransom" to own, pearls still offer a captivating beauty that no other gemstone offers. Pearls are given to us by nature, perfect and ready to enjoy and appreciate just as they are.
For thousands of years pearls have been associated with the loftiest of ideas including; heaven, God, purity, virtue, modesty, nobility and a host of other sublime concepts. Pearls have been thought to be instilled with many supernatural powers for healing, good luck, prosperity, love and other good fortune.
How Pearls are Formed
Natural Pearls, formed without human intervention are a result of mollusk's natural defenses as they secrete protective smooth shell material (nacre) around irritants in order to isolate them within the mollusk's own inner-shell material.Cultivated pearls are formed much the same way, although the "irritant" (generally a spherical shell bead) is implanted in the mollusk along with a tissue fragment. Under cultivation, the optimal conditions for pearl formation are maintained and yet, even then, the yield of perfect pearls of superior quality is still minimal. Therefore, while affordable, the best pearls are still rare and require a significant investment.
It is our view that freshwater pearls represent the best value in pearls today. We are convinced that as the public re-evaluates and subsequently modifies its preconceptions about Chinese freshwater pearls, we will see prices rise over the coming years, but for right now, these pearls are a wonderful bargain.
Freshwater Pearls are produced not by oysters but rather by mussels.
Being virtually solid nacre, freshwater pearls offer high luster and durability. Of course as with all pearls some are better than others. The few best of a harvest command the highest prices but very beautiful freshwater pearls are available at surprisingly affordable prices.
The most common cultured sea pearls are from three different oysters. Akoya pearls produced principally in
Tahitian "Black" Pearls are produced in the tropical lagoons of
Abalone, conch and melo melo pearls come from are among the less commonly encountered types of pearls found commercially. In the case of conch and melo melo pearls, these are called calcareous concretions and are non-nacreous. Their look is altogether different than that of the more traditional nacreous pearls.
Although Akoya, Tahitian,
Pearls are graded according to the following criteria:
Choosing jewelry is a very personal and subjective thing. Ultimately you should buy the pearls you will feel good wearing and that you think look good on you.
• Choose pearls that look good from a normal distance under typical social settings. Small inconsequential blemishes are generally not noticed upon casual observation but can save you hundreds of dollars
• Place high value on luster and iridescence over shape or size as these qualities give pearls their mesmerizing beauty.• The ability to determine the value of pearls and to understand what you are buying can take years. That is why it is imperative that you trust the company you do business with. We pledge to our customers that the pearl jewelry you buy from us will represent a good value and that you will be happy with the product you receive. If, for some reason you are not - just return it. Your happiness is our number-one goal.
Here are a few tips to keep your pearls looking good for a lifetime.
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|The History of Pearls and How Pearls are formed|
|Other Types of Pearls|
|Judging Pearl Quality|
|Choosing Your Pearls|
|Caring for Your Pearls|