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Friday, May 16, 2008

The World of Pearls

Pearls have been a part of jewelry for centuries. Initially all pearls were natural and formed without any human intervention, this is why in the early days they were so valuable and rare, a naturally formed pearl is very hard to find, and one of good quality even harder. Today there value is still extremely high.

Today most pearls are cultured on pearl farms where a piece of material is inserted into each oyster or mussel in order to create a pearl. This technique can be done for both salt water and fresh water varieties. While they may look similar, salt water and fresh water pearls are very different in the chemical structure. Also the salt water varieties because of the delicate balance of salt water ecosystems are often times harder to grow and need to be done in protected lagoons. Fresh water pearls on the other hand are easier to culture outside of the natural environment and for this reason don't have any chance of creating imbalances in natural habitats. All of our jewelry uses fresh water pearls.


Here are a few interesting pearl facts:

  • Cultured pearls can take 2-5yrs to mature.
  • The saltwater pearls do not come from any clam or oyster that we eat; in fact they are quite inedible.
  • A natural matching strand of found pearls can fetch upwards of $100,000.
  • Pearl culturing was not invented until 1916 by a group of Japanese scientists.
  • Pearls come in many different shapes and sizes from round, oval, flat, oblong, and teardrop.
  • Pearls are the birthstone for June.

We love pearls and a lot of our jewelry makes use of them, occasionally as a full strand but usually just to highlight and enhance the piece with that wonderful luster that pearls create. Here are a few of our favorites:

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