Lovely Pearl Jewelry...what is a Pearl?
“A pearl is the gem produced by saltwater oysters (the non-edible variety) or by freshwater mollusks. In either case, a small foreign object (such as a tiny sea parasite from the ocean floor) finds its way into the shell and then into the tissue of the mollusk."
If the intruder gets stuck inside the oyster, and if the oyster is not able to get rid of the intruder on its own, the foreign body becomes an irritant. To take away the discomfort that this irritant can cause, the mollusk will then start to produce a blackish substance called conchiolin. Then over top of this another substance, called "nacre"; which is white in color is secreted. This is what creates the lustrous pearly coating the pearl is known for.
The nacre is composed of microscopic crystals, each crystal is lined perfectly with the others. This allows light to pass along the axis of one, and is then reflected and refracted by the others to produce a rainbow like glow of light and color. The pearl is the outcome of layer after layer of this nacre. The thicker the nacre, of course, the more beautiful the pearl is.
There are so many Pearls to choose from, and since Pearls are the Traditional Birthstone for June...below you will find a little Pearl Education!
Types of Pearls:
(Grown in Japan and China)
Akoya pearls are the classic cultured pearls of Japan. They are the most lustrous of all pearls found anywhere in the world.
White South Sea
(Grown in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Phillipines)
White South Sea cultured pearls are grown in large tropical or semi-tropical oysters in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and other Pacific countries. They generally range in size from 10mm to 20mm and command premium prices because of their relative rarity and large size.
(Grown in French Polynesia)
Tahitian cultured pearls are grown in a variety of large pearl oysters found primarily in French Polynesia. Their beautiful, unique colors (which can range from light grey to black, and green to purple) and large size can command very high prices.
(Grown in Japan, China, and The United States)
Freshwater pearls can be found in bays and rivers throughout the world. They are easily cultivated from freshwater mollusks in China, Japan and the United States. Many are less lustrous than salt water cultured pearls but their low price, unique shapes and colors have made them popular jewelry items in recent years.
(Grown in Japan, Indonesia, French Polynesia and Australia)
Mabe pearls are hemispherical cultured pearls grown against the inside shell of an oyster rather than within the oyster’s body. They generally are used in earrings or rings which conceal their flat backs