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Pearl

The gorgeous gems are widely popular for their classic off-white hues. However, that’s not the only colour that they’re available in. Naturally cultured pearls are also available in different shades, like golden, pink, black, and more. Renowned for their brilliant lustre, these treasures need a definite space in your jewellery box. Read more about how they’re cultured here:

Pearl

Introduction

Classic, sophisticated, and timeless, everything about pearls is extraordinary. Available in different tones and selective hues, these gorgeous delights have made their presence in every jewellery box. Their divine lustre makes them incredibly sought-after, along with their smooth shape and comfortable wear. A choice of countless, these gems have a class of their own. Find out here all there is know about one of the most popular gemstones to be ever flaunted:

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How Are Pearls Cultured?

At TJC, we offer a whopping collection of different varieties of naturally cultivated pearls, and they’re all different than the other. Find below a brief description of natural pearl cultivation:

Akoya Pearls

Known popularly as the best Saltwater pearls, Akoya Pearls are usually found in a charming ivory colour, which is often treated to look black or deep, inky blue. The technology of cultivating these pearls was developed by a Japanese man, going by the name Kokichi Mikimoto. He experimented for a over a decade to perfect the process of cultivating these black pearls and finally succeeded in the 1900’s. The properties that set this kind of pearls apart are their brilliant mirror-like lustre (which is almost metallic) along with their symmetrically round shape. In the current pearl market, the smaller Akoya Pearls are cultivated in China whereas the bigger varieties are cultivated in Japan.

Freshwater Pearls

By far, the most abundantly found and popular category presents the freshwater pearls. These gems are found in mussels, where each produces about 50 of these lustrous beauties. If naturally sourced, these bear a potato-like shape. However, with the evolution of cultivation, you can now see the perfect symmetrical varieties, too. The features that set these pearls apart are their naturally-irregular shape along with their availability in a spectrum of colours, like pink, peach, purple, and more.

Tahitian Pearl

Popular for their ebony hue and oily texture, these pearls are extremely coveted. It was believed by ancient Polynesians that God of Love and Fertility – Oro - gifted them these black pearls. It was also believed that he came down on a rainbow, which gave these pearls their iridescent lustre. Tahitian Pearls are usually cultured in black-lipped oysters and are cultivated in French Polynesia. Their best feature is their black colour, which features a sheen of purple or green overtones.

South Sea Pearls

Considered to be a part of the “exotic pearls,” the South Sea Pearls come in two shades – white and golden. While the white variety of these pearls is cultivated in western coast of Australian, Golden South Sea Pearls are found in Philippines and Indonesia. These pearls are scarcely found, which makes them all the more popular and precious. They’re also extremely famous for their size, which tips on the bigger varieties. The average size of a South Sea Pearl may vary between 9-22 mm, available in white, cream, and golden colours.

Properties of Pearl

Unlike all the other crystals and gems, pearls do not have 4C’s that determine their value. However, that said, they can be distinguished with several other characteristics. Some of the more important ones have been mentioned below:

1. Colour

The most popular variety of pearls flaunts a simple ivory colour. It is classic and is also flaunted the most. However, there are several other colours of the gem, too. Some of them are golden (South Sea Pearls,) black (Akoya and Tahitian Pears,) pink, lavender, peach (Freshwater Pearls,) among some others, too. If you’re seeking naturally cultured pearls, you may find it difficult to spot the exact same colours. There might be variations in different shades of pink, peach, and ivory.

2. Size

The size of your pearl entirely depends of what kind it. Every above-mentioned grade of pearls delivers a different size than the other. The biggest pearls are usually South Sea Pearls, which vary from 9-22mm. Freshwater pearls, Tahitian or Akoy pearls offer relatively smaller varieties. That said, the average size a pearl is 7-7.5mm, which is also the more commonly found size.

3. Shape

You may only know pearls to have a round or oval shape. That’s not true; pearls are available in a whole variety of different shapes and different sizes. Some of the more noticeable ones are:

(i). Round:

Found abundantly, this is not only the most popular shape, but it is also a reigning classic, too. Most of the cultured pearls are given a symmetrically round and smooth shape. These pearls are then strewn to form a perfect necklace. Ages ago, when cultivating pearls wasn’t a thing, obtaining a necklace with natural pearls would take over several years.

(ii). Baroque:

Another vastly popular shape is the baroque. This shape resembles a potato. It is irregular but looks far more natural, which makes it incredibly popular among the masses. Baroque pearls aren’t only asymmetrical. It’s actually a name given to all the irregular pearls, from having slight dent to a whole new shape.

(iii). Oval:

Another popular shape, oval pearls are mostly used for necklaces and bracelets. These oblong pearls have a brilliantly lustrous surface, which keeps them eternally popular. They closely resemble an egg and can also be used for earrings.

(iv). Teardrop:

A shape that is extremely popular for earrings, teardrop pearls are extremely popular and loved. These gorgeous treats have a stunning smooth shape that resembles a milky white drop.

(v). Mabe and Button:

Mabe is shape that features round silhouette on the top, with tapered edges. These pearls are mostly used for pins and brooches. Another shape is button, which is flat on the top but round on the sides, making them perfect for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

4. Lustre

By far, the most important characteristic of a pearl is its lustre. Noted from distances, this sets the different grades of pearls apart. If your pearl is expensive, it is going to have several different layers. And with more layers, the lustre increases. The price and value of pearls increase with the layers they have. If you’re out shopping for an expensive pearl, place it in front of the light. It should reflect your face in it; it would mean that it has a lot of layers.

5. Surface

Surface of a pearl does affect its look, not its value. The different surfaces you may come across are little dents or rings that can be felt. These imperfections are usually minor and only seem to make your gem more unique and natural.

Pearl Treatment

Most of the pearls found in the current market have undergone some kind of treatment to enhance their beauty. More popular treatments are bleaching, irradiation, drilling, waxing, heating, filling, or cutting. The best way to find out if your pearl is treated is by comparing the different pieces in the strand. Natural pearls will always be slightly different from one another, be it in terms of shape, colour, size, or surface.

Pearls Best Paired With

The classic and gorgeous aesthetics of pearls can be worn alone. The classic and gorgeous ivory colour makes them a matching accessory for all outfits and occasions. However, if you pair their simple colours with the hues of different stones, their delight is enhanced. Some of the most popular pairing in the current market, with pearls are:

Contrasting Delights

If you’re seeking a strand of simple white pearls, it can be best paired with strong hues that bring contrast to their colour. One of the most popular combinations you’ll see is of sapphire and pearl. You may also find some intensely hued amethysts paired with pearls to bring that much-loved contrast to the piece. In fact, you may pair your pearl with any gemstone that features a strong and passionate colour, like perhaps Russian Diopside, Spinel, and more.

All White Excellence

Another graceful and divine collection brings all-white brilliance. Here’s where you can find designs of pearls in pair with diamonds or zircons. Even topaz seems a fitting option. These white or transparent gems offer sparkle to the gorgeous lustre of the pearl. If you’re seeking a slight tinge of metallic colour, you may opt for a base that’s made of yellow gold or even rose gold.

Healing Properties of Pearls

Seeing as to how pearls are formed, they’re often associated with nurturing and growth. They’re also seen as symbols of fertility. In fact, in Asian countries, pearls are used in lots of treatments for healing. Not just aesthetically pleasing, pearls also offer holistic healing in a deeper level, professional healers claim. Across the globe, it has been considered as one of the strongest healing stones and can be used just like other crystals, too. Below are some of the major benefits of wearing it and reaping metaphysical benefits of pearls:

Decorating A Pearl

The big lustrous magnificence looks beautiful if it is decorated in any room. Pearls are regarded as nurturing and nourishing, both of which features make it a perfect fit to be placed in your child’s room. Keeping a pearl in the room will help your body attain balance in hormone levels and body’s natural rhythm. It also keeps our body cycles in tune with the Lunar Cycles. By keeping a pearl in the room may help you get rid of negative energy and bathe you in positivity. You may also use the gem as a part of your meditation process.

Wearing A Pearl

In Asian countries, it is believed that just by wearing a pearl, you can get rid of many disorders and ailments. They are said to ground you and bring peace and calm for the wearer. For women, it is also considered to symbolize femininity and fertility. It is, in fact, believed that it gets women in touch with their inner goddess.

Other external uses of pearls have been noted by Asians in order to treat skin issues and patches. They believe that use of pearl causes prevention from melanin formation, which is a pigment that cause tan and dark spots. You’ll also note the use of pearl powder in the composition of many age-fighting creams, as it is supposed to take care of wrinkles and fine lines.

Pearls, mentally, are considered to inspire people. They’re considered as the stones bringing enlightenment. The gem not only calms you, but it also offers you to get in touch with your true self. It brings a fresh wave of positivity in your life and is believed to keep you happy.

Other Gems Like Pearls

The lustre and colour of pearls are exclusive to them. Their shape, size, colour, and lustre can rarely be found in any other gemstone. Pearls are available in a wide range, of different prices, qualities, colours, and others features. Seeking gems that look exactly like pearls is impossible. However, we can offer you some gemstones that have colour similar to white pearls.

Gems with Pearl Colour

Pearls are usually found in the plain, classic, and beautiful ivory colour. The simple and minimal hue is perfect for jewellery for all occasions. In fact, pearl white is a colour tone that is highly referred to by many. Here are some stones that have a similar colour.

White Moonstone

Milky and opaque, the round cabochons of white moonstones are the closest you can come to a pearl replacement. These stones are relatively cheaper and contain little iridescence in them, too. Moonstone is also considered as a replacement stone for pearls by many and it also derives its powers from the Moon, just like pearl. Legends maintain that this is why they both have similar colours. From a distance, you may easily get confused between a pearl and smooth cabochon of moonstone.

White Agate

Here’s another gem that resembles the colour of a pearl. White Agate can be seen in a variation of different hues, which maintain colour that is similar to a pearl. However, its texture doesn’t match with the stone. It has a smoother surface and can easily smoothened into a perfect sphere shape, which isn’t so with pearls. Pearls are naturally irregular with a bumpy surface.

What to Remember While Buying Pearls?

There are lots of tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind when you’re out shopping for your perfect pearl piece. Here, we have mentioned some extremely helpful tips that you need to remember when you’re buying these classy gems:

  1. Do not forget the major characteristics of pearls, which are colour, size, shape, lustre, and surface. You’ll get the best value for your money and safety from being ripped off if you’ve educated yourself beforehand.
  2. It is important to remember that pearls are not only available in white colours, but several different shades and tones, like lavender, pink, peach, even black and purple. These are all natural or dyed to look better.
  3. You must also remember that every pearl is slightly different than the other. If you’ve found a pearl necklace that has identical pieces, it’s probably fake. Every pearl has ridges and shape that are unique to it.
  4. Know the costs of pearls. If you’re shopping for naturally cultivated pearls, know which ones are the highest priced (South Sea pearls,) which are medium-priced (Tahitian and Akoya Pearls,) and which ones are pocket-friendly (Freshwater Pearls.)
  5. Every expensive pearl will have a higher number of layers in it. An increased number of layers indicates richer lustre, which also makes the pearl more expensive and luxurious. It’ll make it appear mirror-like.
  6. If you wish to conduct a test that determined whether your pearl is real or fake, rub it against your tooth. A real pearl will have irregular and uneven surface, while the imitations will have a glass-like smooth surface.
  7. If you’re buying pearls for the first time, let it be a simple strand for necklace. Every woman must have at least on classic and simple freshwater pearls necklace strand.
  8. It’s important to seek a vendor that specializes in pearls. It will offer you a vast and wide range, along with guarantee of authenticity.
  9. Know about the sizes of pearls. It is important to know which type of cultivated stone has what average size. The largest pearls can be found as South Sea Pearls. Others like Akoya and Tahitian are relatively smaller pearls.

Facts About Pearls

There are lots of fun and known facts that make shopping for pearls all the more fun. Here are some of the more known ones:

  1. Pearls are 100% naturally sourced gemstones. Their lustre, shape, and colour are all the gifts of nature. In fact, their mirror-like smoothness and divine lustre made them have a godly status in the ancient times.
  2. There were times in the British rule where pearls could only be worn by nobility. They used to represent a particular class or status for the elite.
  3. It was believed by ancient Arabs and Greeks that pearls were actually the tears of God.
  4. Naturally cultivated freshwater pearls offer 90% of the circulating pearls in market, whereas saltwater pearls (like Tahitian Pearls and Akoya Black Pearls) have only 5% input.
  5. Completely naturally obtained pearl can be counted as among the rarest stones on Earth. It takes several hundreds of years to grow. Only 1 out of 10,00 oysters now contains a natural pearl.
  6. American National Association of Jewellers called the stone Birthstone Pearl and made it a lucky stone for the people born in the month of June.
  7. No two pearls are the same as each other. Every pearl that is naturally cultivated will be much different than the other, be it in terms of colour, lustre, shape, size, or surface.
  8. The low-grade pearls with fewer layers are crushed into fine powder and then used for makeup.
  9. Pearls beautifully symbolize fertility, nurturing, friendship, and femininity.
  10. Pearls are the only stones known to mankind that are obtained from other living beings. This makes them much different than any other rock, which are obtained from the Earth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pearls

In this section, we have put together a detailed list of questions with their answers, which have been asked regarding pearls. We hope to give the answers you’ve been looking for. Read to know more:

1. Are Cultured Pearls Considered as Real Pearls?

To be brief, it is quite challenging to differentiate between natural pearls and cultured pearls. The process of cultured pearls is similar to the of natural pearls. The only difference is that in the initial stages, a delicate procedure is conducted, which plants the bead and layers form around that. In natural pearls, this process happens over years on its own.

2. How to Tell the Difference Between Real Pearl and Imitation?

You can carry a simple “tooth test” to determine if your pearl is real or fake. Lightly rub the surface of pearl on your tooth. If you feel minute ridges and imperfections, your pearl is real. However, if you feel it’s as smooth as glass, it’s more probably a fake.

3. Which Type of Pearl Is the Most Expensive?

Due to their big size and scarcity in availability, South Sea Pearls are the most priced and valued. They’re cultivated in the western coast on Australia (for the golden pearls variety) and Indonesia and French Polynesia (for the white pearls variety.) They’re also bigger in size and are available between 9-22mm.

4. What Does A Pearl Symbolize?

Wearing pearl jewellery may symbolize purity, nurturing, nourishing, and fertility. In many legends, it is believed that it gets you in touch with your “inner self.” Many also believe that brings you in tune with your “inner Goddess.”

5. What Is the Benefit of Wearing a Pearl?

Pearl’s metaphysical healing powers are several. It is worn for good luck as well as deals with anger issues. Pearl also harmonizes your body’s rhythm and hormones with the Lunar cycles. It is also believed that wearing a pearl calms you down and increases your mind’s force, making you more creative.

6. What Are the Factors of a Valuable Pearl?

As mentioned and explained above, there aren’t any 4C’s that determine the value of a pearl. Instead, it depends of its size, surface, shape, lustre, and colour. You may find several varieties that have different features than the other. Read above to know more.

7. What Makes Pearls So Special?

One of the biggest features that makes pearls as popular is the fact that they’re the only gems that have been obtained from real living beings. Other gemstones are usually mined and sourced from the Earth.

8. Are Coloured Pearls Real?

Yes, differently coloured pearls other than ivory or peach are real pearls, too. There are different varieties of black pearls (also called Tahitian Pearls) that offer blue, green, or grey pearl. Other colours of freshwater pearls are lavender, cream. South Sea Pearls offer golden-hued variety.

9. Is Pearl A Birthstone?

Yes, Pearl Birthstone is for the people who are born during the month of June. The lustrous treat is considered to bring luck and joy to the wearer. You may choose from the different colours, shapes, and sizes of pearls to find your favourite.

10. Is Mother of Pearl considered as a pearl?

Albeit Mother of Pearl and Pearl are made of the same nacre, they’re not considered to be the same. Mother of Pearl is thinner and much more delicate because the nacre is thinner with fewer layers.

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