When we talk about pearls, we should not only get tempted by the luster they carry but the overall mysterious formation of pearls is fascinating in its own way. Unlike any other jewel, pearls are a result of organic creation when an irritant happens to enter the shell of a specific kind of mollusk. These mollusks in their defense mechanism start forming a layer of fluid around that irritant. Layer-by-layer the deposition takes place and after 5-10 years that irritant becomes the pearl that we cherish so much in our jewelry.
Now, let us try to understand the three broad kinds of pearls on the basis of their creation.
As the name suggests, natural pearls are formed by nature's own organic process which is the reason behind their rarity and only a few can find their way into the market. The best-known source of natural pearls was the Persian Gulf but the discovery of oil made the waters unfit for pearl production. Therefore, finding a natural pearl is in itself an achievement.
The formation of cultured pearls is the same as the formation of natural pearls, however, if natural pearls are just a chance occurrence, cultured pearls are intentionally produced by inducing an irritant in a mollusk surgically. They are in turn kept under protection in what is called the “pearl farms.” However, even after 5-10 years of wait, the quality of pearls wholly depends upon nature.
These pearls have no connection with any mollusks or water sources. They are man-made pearls created from dipping glass beads into a solution of fish scales. The luster obtained is great, though eventually, it fades with time.
Pearls are produced from cultivating pearl farms of freshwater mussels in place of saltwater oysters. Freshwater pearls are produced in great numbers which ultimately keeps their price moderated out of all the cultured pearls. Freshwater pearl jewelry is an obvious choice for people with budget constraints.
The cultured freshwater pearls are predominantly farmed from China’s Freshwater lakes or human created aquaculture farms and take formation in freshwater mussels.
Freshwater pearls usually can range in size from 2-3 mm to 11-12 mm and on some rare experimental occasion can attain a maximum size of 15 mm. Besides, the natural shades in these pearls are typically pink, peach and white.
The per carat price of freshwater pearls can vary from $30 to several thousands depending on the quality of freshwater pearls.
The cultured pearls of Japan. Akoya pearls are the most lustrous of any pearl found in the world. Akoya pearls are credited for pure white or cream color. Sometimes, a yellow, pink or blue tint is hard to miss in these pearls.
The cultivation of Akoya Pearls is popularly owed to Japan, however, China and Vietnam don’t fall behind when it comes to farming cultured Akoya pearls.
Akoya pearl sizes can vary from 2-3 mm to a high of 9-9.5 mm and on very rare occasion they reach up to 10 mm in size. On the other hand, Akoya Pearls possess spectacular natural hues of silvery-blue and sometimes golden.
Japanese cultured pearl prices can start from a low of $75 and may reach to thousands depending on the quality of Akoya pearls.
Large tropical or semi-tropical oysters are the reason behind the formation of cultured pearls of the South Sea. They are not only the largest pearls but also priced comparatively higher than other pearls because of their relative rarity. Commonly they are formed with a white, gold, or silver luster.
South sea pearl are broadly found in two body colors, namely, white and gold. The White South Sea pearls are farmed along the Northern coast of Australia while the Golden South Sea pearls come from the Philippine Islands.
South Sea Pearls are the largest type of cultured pearls with their sizes falling in between 8-9 mm to 20 mm. Sizes over 15 mm are both rare and expensive. These pearls are naturally obtained in White and Gold luster.
Price of South Sea pearls starts at $200 and may reach to tens of thousands depending on the quality factors.
The saltwater of French Polynesia, the birthplace of the Black Tahitian pearls is a rare beauty of nature. Out of 10,000 oysters, only one contains a pearl which might give you an idea about the rarity of this pearl. Black Tahitian pearls are not usually black but are silver, gray, or bronze with pink tones.
The farming for cultured Tahitian pearls can be traced throughout the French Polynesian Islands. The formation of these pearls is owed to the Black Lip Oyster.
The body color of Tahitian Pearls can vary from light grays to charcoal grays while their luster is characterized by peacock iridescent and green overtones. While their sizes can range from 8-9 mm to 15-16 mm.
The price of Tahitian Pearls usually vary form a low of $80 to high thousands based on the quality of such pearls.
Just before you set out to buy pearls or pearl jewelry, it is necessary to do your homework about all those factors which determine the quality or grade of a pearl. Here are some briefly described points which should be kept in mind while buying a pearl.
|The pearl must incorporate a surface brilliance coupled with a deep-seated glow. A good quality cultured pearls’ luster should be bright and not dull. You must be able to clearly see your own reflection and the pearl must not look too chalky.|
|The shape of cultured pearls is subject to nature since they are grown by oysters, therefore, one can hardly expect or wish for a perfectly spherical pearl which is by far the most expensive.|
|The size of pearls is usually measured in terms of their diameter in millimeters. The average size of cultured pearls which find their way into the market fall between 7 to 7.5 millimeters.|
|A pearl is certified “clean” only when its surface is totally free from spots, bumps, or cracks.|
|The choice of color for pearls totally depends upon the person wearing them. The skin tone of a person very much influences the color of the pearl to be worn.|
Make it a point to wear your pearl jewelry only after you are done applying cosmetics and after you remove them make sure you clean them with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these materials.Pearls can be easily washed with mild soap and water, however, the use of abrasives or chemicals is advised against due to the damage they can do to pearls.
Keep in mind to be gentle while handling your pearls. Avoid tossing them in a purse, bag or even placing them directly on tables. Any contact with rough surfaces might invite unwanted scratches. Lay them flat while drying. Stranding them might stretch the threads.
In conclusion to the aforementioned points to be kept in mind while setting out to buy pearl jewelry for you or your loved one, we suggest that the selection of the pearls to be made considering all the factors, compromise in some and while certain characteristics are a must. We at Rosec Jewels, not only allow our customers to choose from a wide variety of jewelry but also guide them to make a purchase that is worth their every dime.