Home PageThe secrets of the GemsPearls

Pearls

 

Pearl_1

Pearls are created within the interior of certain mollusks. Pearls, in certain societies, are the symbol for purity. They have been considered to emit certain properties that create mental balance.

Pearls symbolize the best within us.  Honesty, Purity , Wisdom and Integrity.  They remind us to walk with Dignity. Have you ever seen a woman wearing Pearls acting in an undignified manner?  Did you have  the oddest feeling?  That’s because they just don’t mix.  Pearls not only provide a mirror in which to see ourselves, but give us insight into how we appear to others.

Pearls can stimulate your femininity and help with self acceptance. They lift your spirits and make you feel calm and beautiful.   When have you not felt Ultra feminine when wearing pearls? The ragged, rough grain of sand, transformed over time slowly growing into a object of great value and beauty.   With it’s humble beginnings, Pearls symbolize innocence and a pure heart, and help us get in touch with the simple honest things of life. Pearls stimulate spiritual transformation and promote prosperity and success. They enclose you with an aura of calm and beauty.
Help with stomach, digestion and emotional stress.
Amplifie focus, meditation skills and wisdom.
Help balance the solar plexus chakra.

.

Freshwater and saltwater pearls

Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from different sources.

Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family Unionidae, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder more temperate areas such as Scotland (where they are totally protected under law). However, most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China.

Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, family Pteriidae, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls.

oyster pearls

Natural pearls

Natural pearls are nearly 100% calcium carbonate and conchiolin. It is thought that natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk, and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, being irritated by the intruder, forms a pearl sac of external mantle tissue cells and secretes the calcium carbonate and conchiolin to cover the irritant. This secretion process is repeated many times, thus producing a pearl. Natural pearls come in many shapes, with perfectly round ones being comparatively rare.

EI9M5yR5QM_shape

Cultured pearls

Cultured pearls are the response of the shell to a tissue implant. A tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell. This graft will form a pearl sac and the tissue will precipitate calcium carbonate into this pocket. There are a number of options for producing cultured pearls: use freshwater or seawater shells, transplant the graft into the mantle or into the gonad, add a spherical bead or do it non-beaded. The majority of saltwater cultured pearls are grown with beads. The trade name of the cultured pearls are Akoya, white or golden South sea, and black Tahitian. The majority of beadless cultured pearls are mantle-grown in freshwater shells in China, known as freshwater cultured pearls.

Cultured pearls can be distinguished from natural pearls by X-ray examination. Nucleated cultured pearls are often ‘pre-formed’ as they tend to follow the shape of the implanted shell bead nucleus. Once the pre-formed beads are inserted into the oyster, it secretes a few layers of nacre around the outside surface of the implant before it is removed after six months or more.

When a cultured pearl with bead is X-rayed, it reveals a different structure to that of a natural pearl. A beaded cultured pearl shows a solid center with no concentric growth rings, whereas a natural pearl shows a series of concentric growth rings. A beadless cultured pearl (whether of freshwater or saltwater origin) may show growth rings, but also a complex central cavity, witness of the first precipitation of the young pearl sac.

.

Value of a natural pearl

Quality natural pearls are very rare jewels. The actual value of a natural pearl is determined in the same way as it would be for other “precious” gems. The valuation factors include size, shape, color, quality of surface, orient and luster.

Single, natural pearls are often sold as a collector’s item, or set as centerpieces in unique jewelry. Very few matched strands of natural pearls exist, and those that do often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. (In 1917, jeweler Pierre Cartier purchased the Fifth Avenue mansion that is now the New York Cartier store in exchange for a matched, double strand of natural pearls that he had been collecting for years; valued at the time at $1 million USD.)

baroque

Types of cultured pearls

Keshi pearls, although they often occur by chance, are not considered natural pearls. They are a byproduct of the culturing process, and hence do not happen without human intervention. These pearls are quite small: typically a few millimeters in size. Keshi pearls are produced by many different types of marine mollusks and freshwater mussels in China. Keshi pearls are actually a mistake in the cultured pearl seeding process. In seeding the cultured pearl, a piece of mantle muscle from a sacrificed oyster is placed with a bead of mother of pearl /nacre/ within the oyster. If the piece of mantle should slip off the bead, a pearl forms of baroque shape about the mantle piece which is entirely nacre. Therefore, a Keshi pearl could be considered superior to cultured pearls with a mother of pearl bead center. In the cultured pearl industry, the resources used to create a mistaken all nacre baroque pearl is a drain on the production of round cultured pearls. Therefore, they are trying to improve culturing technique so that keshi pearls do not occur. All nacre pearls may one day be limited to natural found pearls. Today many “keshi” pearls are actually intentional, with post-harvest shells returned to the water to regenerate a pearl in the existing pearl sac.

Tahitian pearls, frequently referred to as black pearls, are highly valued because of their rarity; the culturing process for them dictates a smaller volume output and they can never be mass produced because, in common with most sea pearls, the oyster can only be nucleated with one pearl at a time, while freshwater mussels are capable of multiple pearl implants. Before the days of cultured pearls, black pearls were rare and highly valued for the simple reason that white pearl oysters rarely produced naturally black pearls, and black pearl oysters rarely produced any natural pearls at all.

Since the development of pearl culture technology, the black pearl oyster found in Tahiti and many other Pacific Island areas has been extensively used for producing cultured pearls. The rarity of the black cultured pearl is now a “comparative” issue. The black cultured pearl is rare when compared to Chinese freshwater cultured pearls, and Japanese and Chinese akoya cultured pearls, and is more valuable than these pearls. However, it is more abundant than the South Sea pearl, which is more valuable than the black cultured pearl. This is simply because the black pearl oyster Pinctada margaritiferais far more abundant than the elusive, rare, and larger south sea pearl oyster Pinctada maxima, which cannot be found in lagoons, but which must be dove for in a rare number of deep ocean habitats or grown in hatcheries.

Black pearls are very rarely black: they are usually shades of green, purple, aubergine, blue, grey, silver or peacock (a mix of several shades, like a peacock’s feather).

Black cultured pearls from the black pearl oyster – Pinctada margaritifera – are not South Sea pearls, although they are often mistakenly described as black South Sea pearls. In the absence of an official definition for the pearl from the black oyster, these pearls are usually referred to as “black pearls”.

The correct definition of a South Sea pearl – as described by CIBJO and GIA – is a pearl produced by the Pinctada maximapearl oyster. South Sea pearls are the color of their host Pinctada maxima oyster – and can be white, silver, pink, gold, cream, and any combination of these basic colors, including overtones of the various colors of the rainbow displayed in the pearl nacre of the oyster shell itself.

South Sea pearls are produced in various parts of the world. White ones tend to come from the Broome area of Australia while golden ones are from the Philippines. Pearls are also produced in the Cook Islands and one farm in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, from Concha Nácar the rainbow lipped oyster; these pearls fluoresce red under ultraviolet light.

.

Pearl Shape Classifications

Spherical pearls are round, which is traditionally the most desirable shape. The rounder the pearl, the more expensive its price tag.

Symmetrical pearls include pear shaped pearls and other shapes that have symmetry from one side to another, but are not round.

Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular non-spherical shape. Shapes can range from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinch, or lumpy shapes. Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque because freshwater pearls are mantle-tissue nucleated instead of bead nucleated. Cultured saltwater pearls can also be baroque, but tend to be more teardrop-shaped due to the use of a spherical nucleation bead.

The most valuable of baroque pearls are the South Sea and Tahitian pearls. These pearls are produced byPinctada margaritifera (black-lipped oysters) and Pinctada maxima (gold-lipped and white-lipped oysters). Although these are a variety of cultured saltwater pearls, the amount of time that the pearls are cultured dramatically increases the depth of the nacre, and the likelihood of producing a baroque pearl. Most Tahitian pearl farm harvests, for example, produce more than 40 percent baroque and semi-baroque pearls. Western Australia is currently the world’s largest cultivator of Pinctada maxima gold-lipped oysters. Tahiti is the number one cultivator ofPinctada maxima black-lipped oysters.

shapesbig (1)

Color

The general color of a pearl is also called the body color. Typical pearl colors are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver, Purplish or black. A pearl can also have a hint of secondary color, or overtone, which is seen when light, reflects off the pearl surface. For example, a pearl strand may appear white, but when examined more closely, a pink overtone may become apparent.

pearl colors

Luster

Pearls produce an intense, deep shine called luster.

luster pearl

This effect is created when light reflects off the many layers of tiny calcium carbonate crystals that compose the pearl. This substance is called nacre. When selecting a pearl, consider that the larger the pearl, the more nacre it has, so it will also exhibit even more luster. Compare a 5mm Freshwater cultured pearl with a 10mm South Sea cultured pearl and the difference in the amount of nacre is obvious. The difference in luster is as clearly visible as the difference in the pearl sizes.

.

Care

semi_baroque

When cared for properly, pearls can last a lifetime. The best way to care for pearls is to wear them often as the body’s natural oils keep pearls lustrous. However, it’s important to keep them away from household chemicals including perfume, makeup and hairspray. Chemicals found in these common products can dull the luster of your pearls. It is recommended that you put your pearls on last when getting ready and make them the first thing you take off when you come home. Before putting your pearls away, wipe them with a soft cloth and store them separate from other jewelry to avoid scratching their tender surfaces.

White: Symbol of pure heart and mind; innocence, faith.

Gold and Black: Also for prosperity.

Pink: Works especially with the heart Chakra.

Elements: Water Star stones:  Cancer and Gemini

Vibrates to the number 7

UA-33374953-1