What are Pearls?
Pearls, whether natural or cultured, are organic gemstones, usually made from aquatic mollusks (clams, oysters, scallops, etc.) in fresh or salt water. Pearls are created when a foreign object, such as a grain of sand, or sometimes a parasite, enters a mollusk and irritates the soft tissues within its shell. Mollusks try to reduce their potential harm by coating man-made objects with a smooth layer of nacre, a crystalline form of calcium carbonate. After layer after layer of nacre coating, a process that can last for months or even years, the foreign body — an irritant that oysters see as a threat — will turn into a beautiful pearl. Traditionally, the most precious natural and cultured pearls are made from oysters of the Pinctada genus in a marine (salt water) environment. Freshwater pearls can also be high-quality organic gemstones, but they often cannot match the luster of the highest quality natural saltwater pearls.
What are Natural Pearls?
In nature, pearls are only formed "accidentally" under the above-mentioned conditions. This is very, very rare, and as a result, pearls have been considered extremely rare and precious for centuries. Around 1900, high-quality natural pearls were worth more per carat than high-quality colorless diamonds, which were also extremely rare at the time.
Natural pearls occur when some form of irritant (whether it's shells, bones, scales, or even parasites) enters a pearl-producing mollusk such as oysters, mussels, or abalone. To protect themselves from foreign bodies, the mollusk forms a nucleus on the foreign body and continues to cover it with nacre for the next few years. The factors that determine pearl size, color and shape are related to the size and shape of the nucleus and the area of the ocean where the mollusks reside.
How to Distinguish Natural Pearls from Cultured Pearls
There are two main types of true pearls - natural pearls and cultured pearls. The difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls is that natural pearls are formed without any human intervention whereas cultured pearls are created by humans.
The best way to determine if a pearl is natural or cultured is to have the pearl authenticated by a qualified jeweler. There are a few key factors that can help you differentiate between natural and cultured pearls:
– Most natural pearls (especially marine varieties) have low lustre, while most cultured pearls have high lustre.
– Cultured versions are perfectly round pearls, while natural pearls can be misshapen or asymmetrical.
– Natural pearls often have an irregular color or surface, while cultured pearls are more likely to be pure white.
– Cultured pearls are generally more durable than natural pearls because the nacre is stronger and scratch-resistant.
Why are Natural Pearls Rare?
About 1 in 10,000 Pinctada oysters produce gem-quality pearls without any human intervention. Also, it is not easy to find an oyster with pearls in a pearl oyster farm, but it is in the open ocean and needs to be found by a highly skilled (and patient!) pearl diver. So to make a natural pearl necklace of at least 100 pearls, you need to find and open about 1 million oysters! Pearl mining has been a thriving industry in the Persian Gulf region over the past few centuries and is a major source of high-quality natural seawater pearls. Today it is actually a lost art. Therefore, most natural pearls on the market today are antiques. There is a famous anecdote, most of which is true, that impressively demonstrates the rarity and desirability of genuine natural pearls: in 1916 (some say 1917), Pierre Cartier acquired the No. The iconic headquarters of Fifth Avenue trades with the now absolutely priceless landmark building with a unique double-strand natural pearl.
Do Natural Pearls Look and Feel Different than Cultured Pearls?
Yes! When comparing natural and cultured pearls, the first thing you will notice is weight. Natural pearls are composed almost entirely of a thick nacre, and feel surprisingly heavy and firm in the hand, especially compared to lighter cultured pearls. Most natural pearls will also vary in shape and size compared to cultured pearls. Due to their extreme rarity, natural pearls are considered high quality even though they are nowhere near as perfect as cultured pearls would expect (less round and may have slight imperfections). Cultured pearls can be perfectly round because they are formed around man-made perfectly spherical beads. In the absence of such beads, natural pearls may have a more specific shape - more oval, or just "round" rather than perfectly round, and sometimes even pear-shaped or "baroque." While non-roundness in cultured pearls is considered unacceptable, natural pearls are more loosely graded, considering the overall beauty of the chain rather than the perfection of each pearl.
Pearls are timeless classic gemstones that have been passed down from generation to generation and look forever elegant. Whether you choose to buy natural or cultured pearls, you can find both types at many online retailers and jewelry stores across the country.
HER'S Style sources the highest quality freshwater pearls in the most beautiful and eye-catching jewelry from around the world. We are proud to offer our clients the best pearls at the best prices that are sure to complement your wardrobe, from your little black dress to your everyday attire.
1.Pearl Bridesmaid Earrings
Shimmering cool white pearls, suspended beneath decadent surmounts of sterling silver and sparkling lab simulated diamonds. These beautiful ladies pearl drop earrings would look marvellous on a blushing bride or make a great gift for a June birthday or Pearl Anniversary.
2.Large Pearl Drop Earrings
Classic in every way, these elegant pearl earrings feature two freshwater cultured pearls set with white zircon gemstones in sterling silver.