PEARLS – FROM MUSSELS TO STUNNING PEARL JEWELRY
Pearls are one of nature’s many wonders, and have been used for jewelry for thousands of years.
Over time, pearls became a symbol of wealth, status and loyalty. Until the 1900s, only natural pearls existed, but now most of the pearls sold are cultured pearls.
What are natural pearls?
A genuine natural pearl is formed by shellfish such as oysters, mussels or snails. When a foreign object enters the shell, the mussel protects itself by encapsulating itself in mother-of-pearl – which over time turns into a beautiful, glossy pearl. Natural pearls were once found all over the world, but now they have become extremely rare and expensive. You have to open several thousands of mussels to be lucky enough to find a pearl.
What is a cultured pearl?
Cultured pearls are grown by people who surgically implant a small mother-of-pearl bead inside the mussel. It is then nurtured and cultured for around 18 months, after which it creates a new layer of mother-of-pearl around the bead.
Freshwater or saltwater pearls
All pearls are either saltwater or freshwater, depending on how they’re grown. Saltwater pearls come from seas and oceans and can have several different colors, such as white, pink, grey and purple. Freshwater pearls come from lakes and rivers and have white, pink, purple or freshwater shades.
Differences in pearl quality
There are several things that add to a pearl’s value. The key point is to what extent the pearl is natural or not. Next, look at how big and shiny the pearl is. The rounder, smoother and more even it is, the higher the price.
Who suits pearl jewelry?
Pearls are no longer worn just by old ladies. Classic and timeless pearls suit everyone, regardless of age, and create a striking contrast to modern and minimalist pieces. This could be a statement ring with a simple, exclusive pearl, classic pearl earrings or a pearl necklace with a modern twist.
The world’s most famous pearl
La Peregrina is one of the most famous pearls in the world. It was discovered by African slaves near Panama 500 years ago, and is one of the biggest pear-shaped pearls ever seen. It has been passed on from kings and queens and, more recently, Elisabeth Taylor, who got Cartier to create a necklace of cultured pearls, rubies and diamonds with the stunning La Peregrina in the centre.