If you are looking for a timeless piece of jewellery you can wear on any occasion, then maybe Pearl is the one for you. Everyone knows that pearls are the gem of the sea. It takes years for them to be formed. During the olden times, this gem was a rare find which made it so valuable and expensive. But throughout the years, humans have found a way to make it more appealing and affordable to the public.
The Creation of Pearls
Pearls are one of the most beautiful examples of Mother Nature's wonder and magic. This gem is the by-product of a shelled animal's defence mechanism. And among all these shelled animals, oysters are the most well-known to yield pearls. To understand pearls, you first have to know how they are made.
Two shells compose an oyster. Inside these shells, the mantle's organ functions to protect and cover the oyster's internal organs. When a foreign substance or irritant like a grain of sand or a parasite makes its way into the oyster and gets stuck between the shell and mantle, the mantle's natural reaction is to cover the foreign substance to protect the oyster's internal organs. When this happens, the mantle secretes a mineral called nacre, also known as the mother of pearls, to cover the foreign substance. Over time, the irritant encapsulated in several layers of nacre will become a pearl.
History of Pearls
The creation of pearls takes time. Usually, it takes years before a pearl can be formed. Apart from this, statistics have shown that only one in ten thousand wild oysters can yield natural pearls. This is the reason why pearls were a rare piece of gem and were sold expensively.
Back in the day, pearls symbolise lots of things. In ancient Chinese mythology, pearls are considered emblems of wisdom formed inside dragons' heads, while in Japanese, it was known as the tears of mermaids and nymphs. Due to their pristine splendour, some cultures see pearls as a symbol of purity. While in ancient Rome, pearls were considered lucky. This is why knights wore pearls into battle with the thought that the gem could protect them from harm.
But among all these beliefs and symbolisation, pearls are predominantly known to symbolise one's status and nobility. For centuries, only the royal and elite can own pearls. This explains why pearls are usually incorporated in jewellery, crowns, rare pieces of art, and sometimes even clothes. But because of humans' involvement in pearl creation, pearls are then made available to almost everyone.
Pearls are still made by nature, and humans can never force an oyster or a mollusc to yield a pearl. However, humans could control the irritant that gets into the shelled animal that can spark pearl production. Today, we can see pearl farms where extract animals such as oysters and molluscs are maintained and harvested for pearls. Pearls harvested from these farms are then sold to the market for a relatively affordable price.
Types of Pearls
You may be wondering why pearls sold in the market have different prices. This is because the costs of these pearls depend on how they were farmed and harvested. And now that you are aware of how pearls are formed, it is time for you to know the different types of pearls.
● Natural Pearls
Natural pearls are the type of pearls that are 100% made by nature. Naturally, this pearl is much more expensive than those harvested in pearl farms as they require more years to be formed. This also refers to the natural process of pearl creation before humans started pearl farming. These days, natural pearls are nearly nonexistent in the market.
● Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls are almost identical to natural ones. The only difference they have is this type of pearl is grown with the assistance of pearl farmers. Most pearls that you can see and purchase in the market are usually cultured ones.
● Imitation Pearls
Some people might be thinking imitation pearl is another term for cultured pearl, but that is not the case. Cultured pearls are still naturally made by oysters and molluscs. On the other hand, imitation pearls are artificial and, overall, fake. This type of pearl is typically composed of glass or plastic. Jewellers and manufacturers should present this type of pearl as an imitation if they ever plan on selling it.
● Freshwater Pearls
The term freshwater pearl is coined from where precisely the pearl is made-- from freshwater. This type of pearl is created by molluscs, whereas oysters make ocean water pearls. Both pearls are formed naturally.
● Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls were named after the oyster that produces them-- Akoya oysters. This type of pearl was the first one to be cultured. Most Akoyas come from pearl farms in Japan. Also, Akoyas are the most popular type of pearl all over the world.
● South Sea Pearls
Coming from the Pinctada maxima oyster, South Sea pearls are the most treasured in the pearl world. This pearl is much larger and lustrous compared to the other pearl varieties. Large pearls require a longer time to be formed. This is why South sea pearls are also the most expensive and most valuable pearls out in the market.
● Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls can be found around French Polynesia and Tahiti islands, hence the name of this pearl. Tahitian pearls are also known to the world as black pearls. They are formed by the black-lipped oyster called Pinctadamargaritifera. Tahitian pearls are most often a dark green colour which can appear as black.
Where to buy your pearl jewellery
Pearls indeed are the type of jewellery anyone would love to own. For centuries, it has been well-loved by many. Pearl is one of the most popular choices for brides and brides to be. It can also be seen worn by corporate people. And today, some are even wearing pearls with their casual wear.
In conclusion, you will never go wrong with pearl jewellery. And with that in mind, you might be wondering where to buy your pearl jewellery. Here at Charming Jewellery Store, we offer a wide variety of pearl jewellery - from necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
Charming Jewellery Store is a trusted jewellery store based in Derbyshire, UK, specialising in personalised jewellery. To know more about our products, you can visit our website at charmingjewellerystore.co.uk.