Found in various seas and rivers from the saltwater’s and freshwaters of Japan to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf since 2300B.C. It is the only gem created by a living animal. Pearl is formed inside oysters and mussels, when tiny stones or sand seeps through the shell a shiny substance is formed around the object to safeguard the internal surface of the shell which is called the nacre, layers and layers of nacre is formed around the substance and the pearl is formed this process can take 8-9 years depending on how large each of the pearl is. The pearls come in hues of white, ivory, pink and even black pearls, they have a natural shimmering quality. The most expensive pearl is the one that is large and perfectly symmetrical and naturally produced. In more recent years since 1893 manmade pearls are made called cultured pearl and it is done so in factories where shells are kept in water and substance is intentionally inserted into the living oyster.
Pearls come in many different forms from colours to shapes and all have different names however the main three are Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls which account for 5% of the world’s pearls. Followed by fresh water pearls which is farmed in china and accounts for 95% of world’s pearls production. No two pearl is the exact same as each pearl has its own imperfections.
Pearl is very popular from the traditional styles to more modern styles. It is associated with necklaces however it can be set in earrings, pendant, bracelets and rings. Pearl is the birthstone for month of June and is said to represent peace and nobility.
Pearls are an organic stone which are soft and delicate. Pearls have a low resistance to heat and chemicals so these things should be considered when caring for pearls. It must be kept safe from extreme wear and tear as can be easily scratched by other jewellery so should be stored in a soft jewellery pouch or the presentation box they were bought in. Pearls may require restringing annually or on occasion depending on how much they are worn.
Pearls should be cleaned using water and a dried with a soft jewellery cloth. Harsh chemicals and detergents should be avoided as these will cause erosion. Pearl jewellery should be put on last when dressing to avoid contact with cosmetics such as perfume and hairspray.