For centuries, pearls have been a fascination and they are very much as popular as they were. They are considered the most feminine of all gems and are the only gem created by living organisms.
The pearl is the birthstone for June, and the anniversary gem for the Third and Thirtieth Wedding Anniversaries, for this reason, pearls make great gifts.
Pearls are also often given to a bride on her wedding day as a symbol of modesty, chastity and purity.
Pearls are amongst the most collective of all gems. They are the oldest jewels know to man, and the only gem made by a living animal. The oldest surviving pearl necklace is nearly 2000 years old and was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian Princess. In many countries pearls were worn as a declaration of wealth and power, and also used as a talisman to bring good fortune, to ward off evil spirits and to cure illnesses.
Due to the unique creation of pearls, they radiate warmth and glow that often is not found in other gems.
The origin of the pearl mystified humans for centuries. Pearls are found in pearl oysters, but many theories were put forward regarding the origin of the pearl. It wasn’t until the early twentieth century that the association between pearl oysters and parasites was discovered.
The life of a pearl begins when a foreign body finds its way into a pearl oyster. Over the years the oyster then coats the irritant with nacre, a pearly substance. It is these layers that give the pearl its unique appearance and iridescent beauty.
The majority of pearls sold today are cultured this is created by implanting a bead into the oyster which, over time, coats the bead in many layers of natural minerals and proteins.
Natural pearly are extremely rare, and very high in price therefore it is cultured pearls that we see in our shops today.
Pearls are composed of between 82-86% mineral (calcium carbonate), 10-14% organic binder and 2-4% water. They are very soft and can be chipped quite easily. For this reason pearls need great care, it is advised to wear pearl jewellery as often as possible to enable it to remain gleaming.
One of today’s most fashionable pearl jewellery styles is to wear multiple strands of pearls. Depending on how many strands you wish to wear, you can take your pearl look from demure to dramatic.