All About South Sea Pearl: Types, Colors, Description, Origins & Details
The satin like smoothness and glorious glow of South Sea Pearl is known to the world. We’re all a fan of its soft luster, so much so that we cannot help but fall over its satiny beauty like nothing else and love embedding it in our jewelry, be it a bracelet, pendant or ring . Known to be the most valuable out of all the pearls out there, have you ever wondered what exactly brings that out? What all factors dominate its quality? What makes it look so beautiful? To facilitate you with just that, Our South Sea Pearl education is the overall guide to answer all your questions. We address all the basic knowledge revolving around South Sea Pearl including the history, beliefs and benefits to the quality and grading factors of this Birthstone of June to make a prudent decision while setting out to buy Pearl Jewelry.
Properties of South Sea Pearl
Having a hardness of about 2.5 to 4 on Moh’s scale, South Sea Pearl does require a little extra care as it is pretty delicate.
South Sea Pearl is known to be translucent-opaque with a refractive index of 1.530-1.685.
Both natural and cultured South Sea Pearls are observed to fluoresce yellow-green, greenish brown to dark brown reaction when placed under ultraviolet light. Fluorescence can be a determining factor to know a fake pearl from the real one.
Origin & History
When did this rare June birthstone come into picture? How exactly was it discovered? Well, actually the history of South Sea Pearl dates back to thousands of years ago when Austalian people strongly believed that this natural gem had some supernatural powers and of course the beauty prompted them to use these oysters and gems as a decorative ornament as well. Talking about its exact discovery, local divers in Australia discovered the Pinctada maxima oyster, which immediately grasped their attention, thanks to its large size. Soon, it was traded so much so that it began to be depleted. When European traders explored the South Pacific, the demand for these pearls began to grow.
Where is South Sea Pearl found?
The rarest yet the most valuable out of all the Pearls today, South Sea Pearl is known to found in the northwest coast of Australia followed by Philippines and Indonesia which are the prominent producers of Golden South Sea Pearl, another sought after category of Pearls. Talking about its exact formation, South Sea Pearl are found in Pinctada Maxima oyster in the South Seas, just how its name suggests. When Mother of Pearl bead is embed in Mollusk’s mantle, these Cultured Pearl imbibe their fascinating color and luster from the lip of the oyster. Yes, the lip! South Sea Pearl education just got Intriguing right? Well, the Golden South Sea Pearls are golden because of golden lips of the oyster and white south sea pearls are white, thanks to the white lip of the oyster.
South Sea Pearl
The primary differentiating factor is the color. South Sea Pearl is known to attract with its soft pastel white, creamy to golden color hues. Talking about its formation, white and golden lip Pinctada maxima pearl oysters are known to produce South Sea Pearls. South Sea Pearl are also more in nacre thickness and thus are the most valuable variety of Pearl.
You can spot a Tahitian Pearl by its lustrous black color, thus making for a more bold and dramatic appearance. Apart from that, it is formed in Pinctada margatifera in Tahiti. The nacre thickness of Tahitian Pearl is less than South Sea Pearl and they are very rare to find.
South Sea Pearl Quality and Price Filters
When it comes to jewelry, everyone is after a top notch quality and why not? Why compromise in jewelry? Why not don it forever like new? Having said that, you must be wondering how exactly to judge the quality of this June birthstone. What are its determining factors? We’re here to help you out with South Sea Pearl education guide:
The color of a pearl is actually the pearl’s body color and is available in number of hues ranging from white to gold. A secondary overtone can also be seen when light is reflected off the surface of a pearl. Therefore, the pearl must be carefully examined as it may appear white at first glance but an overtone can be revealed well looked closer.
• White South Sea Pearl: One of the most common variety of south sea pearl, white colored south sea pearl possess a soft luster and are known to be produced in Australia.
• White Rose South Sea Pearl: White South Sea Pearl having a rosy tint are known for their elegance and grace. Truly a feminine pick!
• Cream South Sea Pearl: A creamy South Sea Pearl is another common variety known for their soft glow produced in Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand.
• Champagne South Sea Pearl: This color of South Sea Pearl can attract you with a mere glance. Known for its lustrous luxurious appearance, Champagne South Sea Pearl is sure an alluring pick.
• Golden South Sea Pearl: Known for being entirely natural, a golden south sea pearl is known to allure with its earthy yet soft lustrous glow.
The South Sea Pearls can be measured on the basis of their Carat Weight, however, more than often, the better measuring factor for pearl can be in terms of their size in millimeters. In case of South Sea Pearls the size ranges from 8 MM to 20 MM. However, sizes over 15 MM are quite rare and very expensive.
Luster is the deep shine produced by pearls which is a combination of the exterior shine as well as the glow from within. This luster occur due to the reflection of light from the calcium carbonate crystals. Nacre’s thickness and layer arrangement in a pearl determine the luster. These factors further depend upon the pearl’s type and the time it’s allowed to grow for.
Without a shred of doubt, the primary determinant of the quality of Golden South Sea Pearl. The quality of the nacre can be categorized as acceptable - not noticeable nucleus, nucleus visible, and chalky appearance. Known to have a nacre thickness between 2 to 6 mm, which is primarily the reason behind soft yet lustrous sheen of South Sea Pearl.
South Sea Pearl Grading Value
Talking about quality and not having a whole new grading guide? Well, that’s quite impossible! Yes, we’re here to the same old grading system that’s now renowned for narrowing and categorizing the quality down to different grades, helping you judge and analyze the quality better with our South Sea Pearl grading chart:
Having a nacre thickness between 2 to 4 mm, South Sea Pearl is known to have an strong luster with magnficent reflection along with a lesser blemish rate ranging between 5-10 %.
With a nacre thickness between 2 to 4 mm, South Sea Pearl belonging to this quality grade is known to possess a sharp luster with a good reflection and a blemish rate ranging between 10-15 % with a little variation in color, tone, luster and shape.
With a good to soft luster, South Sea Pearl is known to possess a blemish rate upto 30 %. It is also known to possess variation in color, tone, luster and shape.
With a soft to fair luster, South Sea Pearl belonging to this quality grade is known to possess a blemish rate up to 40 %. It is also known to have some variation in color, tone, luster and shape.
Benefits of South Sea Pearl
Being known to possess the energy of moon and symbolizing purity and loyalty since time immemorial, South Sea Pearl is known for its unique luster and soft reflection, It certainly has some beliefs attached to it and why not? Pearl is like an emotion today and that gets us all the more excited to explore the wholesome benefits of this June birthstone with our South Sea Pearl guide:
Known to possess some integral physical healing benefits, South Sea Pearl can cure diseases relating to cold, throat problems and breathing problems relating to asthma and keeps the overall health of nervous system well.
Is there anything more important in this world than being emotionally and mentally in your best space? This June birthstone blesses the wearer with emotional stability, radiates positivity and imparts confidence.
South Sea Pearl is also known to impart wisdom, wealth, faith and loyalty in the life of the wearer. It is even known to strengthen the relationship between husband and wife.
How is a South Sea Pearl formed?
In nature, all the mollusks can produce pearls when a microscopic organism gets trapped inside its shell. In response to this foreign entry the mollusk starts to deposit layers of calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite.
What is difference between cultured and natural South Sea Pearls?
South Sea Pearls are formed as a defense mechanism of mollusks when an irritant gets trapped inside the mollusk. In case of natural pearls, the formation takes place naturally but it is not the case with cultured pearls, which are formed with the help of human intervention when an irritant is introduced in the mollusks.
Where do South Sea Pearls come from?
South Sea Pearls are grown along the northwest coast of Australia. Two more countries are emerging as the leading producers of the South Sea Pearl and they are - Philippines and Indonesia.
How to take care of South Sea Pearls Jewelry?
When it comes to South Sea Pearl jewelry, the simple rule of thumb is to wear them last and take off first. Use of hairspray, lotion or perfume can dull the luster of the pearl. After their use, wipe them with soft tissue or cloth before putting them back. The organic gem must be kept in soft cloth bag to help them breathe.
What is a South Sea Pearl certification?
The most common South Sea Pearl Certifications includes from GIA, IGL and HRD labs. It is usually a document you receive on the behalf of the aforementioned 3rd party labs which describes an South Sea Pearl in all of its characteristics.
Each and every party’s defining grounds may defer.
What are the different shapes of South Sea Pearl?
Diverse shapes, all just as beautiful in their own sweet way! South Sea Pearl in its natural state consists of different shapes including: round, semi-round, baroque, semi-baroque, drop button, oval and circle.
Do South Sea Pearls have flaws?
South Sea Pearl is known to possess some blemishes. A South Sea Pearl that is completely free of inclusions is extremely rare to find. In fact, the beauty of South Sea Pearl is only magnified by some flaws.
What is the best color of South Sea Pearl?
This most alluring and valuable color of South Sea Pearl is known to be soft gold, followed by white.
The most valuable June birthstone: South Sea Pearl has that unique glow and luster that it can sure mesmerize any eye. Soft, shimmery along with sharp luster! We’re all a fan of its royal and satiny appearance. And that makes us all the more curious to explore South Sea Pearl and that’s exactly why we have come up with our South Sea Pearl education guide. Right from the history and benefits to the properties and determinants of quality, we have covered it all in our South Sea Pearl buying guide. We hope we could be of some help for you to select your favorite South Sea Pearl jewelry. That being said, here we sign off wishing you all the luck. We know after getting well versed, you’d choose the best South Sea Pearl.