Pearl, with its timeless beauty, has fascinated for centuries. The originality and luster of this gem make it a stand out among colored jewels. The innocent and natural flair of this stone bid you fall in love the moment you see it. Pearl stone glows with its intense, bright luster and glossy iridescence. This gorgeous gem has made its home in a variety of items and is utilized in jewelry such as bracelets, rings, jewelry boxes, and watches. The charm of this gemstone has always charmed our hearts.
What is a Pearl?
A pearl stone is the aggregation of a marginally crystalline substance, known as nacre or mother of pearl that forms around a foreign element, such as a grain of sand, introduced to a mollusk. It is what provides a pearl stone its exceptional luster and luminosity. It requires thousands of fragile covers of this nacre to create a single pearl stone.
The numerous mentions of pearl stone are established in the folklore of various cultures from the most ancient of times. The Egyptians valued these bright gems so much that they were buried with them. Queen Cleopatra allegedly liquefied a pearl in a glass of wine and swallowed it, just to win a wager with Mark Antony that she could put away the prosperity of an entire nation in just one meal.
The numerous mentions of pearl stone are established in the folklore of various cultures from the most ancient of times. The Egyptians valued these bright gems so much that they were buried with them. Queen Cleopatra allegedly dissolved a pearl in a glass of wine and drank it, just to win a wager with Mark Antony that she could put away the prosperity of an entire nation in just one meal.
Comparing Natural and Cultured Pearls
Differentiating between natural and cultured pearl stones is tough. Usually, they look identical and make it hard for experts even to point out the natural pearl from the cultured one. Here are some general factors on which these two varieties are distinguished:
- Formation: Natural pearls are created by the normal defense mechanism of an oyster. Cultured pearls are grown with human assistance to aid the development.
- Nacre Thickness: Natural pearls have a denser nacre. As a rule of thumb, any gem that has a thick nacre will last a lot longer than those with a thin one.
- Size and Shape: Cultured pearls are available in a variety of sizes and shapes as they are cultivated by man. Natural pearls are rarely formed in nature, and they are often found in a diminutive size.
- Price: The distinction between the two kinds results in natural pearls commanding a higher market price than cultured pearls. A natural pearl of similar size and quality can be several times more expensive owing to its rareness.
What is the Value of a Natural Pearl?
Quality natural pearls are considered very rare jewels. They are measured on the same parameters as other precious gemstones to determine their value, considering attributes such as shape, size, color, orient, quality of the surface, and luster.
A single natural pearl is often sold as the collector’s item or set as the centerpiece in a unique and luxurious jewelry item. It is tough to find a strand of matched natural stones, and those that exist are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1917, the jeweler Pierre Cartier acquired a Fifth Avenue mansion by paying with a double strand of matched natural gems collected for years; valued at $1 million USD.
Today's market is filled with a variety of natural cultured pearl gems that make it affordable for anyone to own a pearl jewelry. The abundance of cultured specimens increased the profile of this gemstone but was also unsuccessful in touching the value of natural pearls, preserving its premium value.
Types of Pearls
With the remarkable assortment of pearls on the market today, they are one of the least understood of all gems. Here is some information to help familiarize yourself with different pearl varieties.
- Primarily grown off the coast of Japan, these are the classic pearl of choice.
- When one images a strand of round white stones, they are typically thinking of Akoya.
- Akoya pearls are celebrated for their effortlessly round shape and sharp, reflective luster.
- Though exceptions exist, Akoya pearls generally range in size from 4 to 10 mm.
- Known for a softer luster, white and pastel body colors, and baroque shapes, freshwater pearls are one of the most affordable gemstones sold today.
- Freshwater pearls offer a broad range of options, from free-form baroque to perfectly round, and with natural neutral colors and shapes.
- Usually ranging in size from 5mm to 12mm, but with new development techniques, sizes up to 20mm are available.
- If you are considering a contemporary piece with a distinctive combination of shapes and colors, go for freshwater pearls.
- Tahitian pearls cultivated in French Polynesia are individual, naturally dark, stones.
- Though often described as black, these gems come in a rainbow of striking colors.
- Round examples are relatively rare, but other fun shapes such as baroque, drops, and ovals are highly sought and still held to be precious.
- Most gems range in size from 8 mm to 15 mm, irrespective of form.
- If you are searching for naturally dark stones that pair well with nearly any style, Tahitian pearls may be your best selection!
- A by-product of the culturing process, it is one of the most unusual pearl types.
- Formed exactly as a natural pearl, but as the oyster has been touched by the hand of man, they are not considered natural.
- Available in a range of distinct colors, these pearls are treasured for their luster and unique orient.
- Formed without a nucleus shapes are more likely to be developed as baroque, with a round example being very exceptional.
Pearl and Its Use in Jewelry
Nothing says class and sophistication as pearls. Either in the form of necklaces, bracelets, rings or earrings, this precious stone is assured to offer charm and stylishness to the simplest outfits.
Presented in an assortment of shapes, the range of a pearl varieties makes it easy to find a preferred style. Freshwater pearls appear particularly stunning as stud earrings or drop earrings. Choose elegant settings like 14K gold or sterling silver to make them sparkle! Looking for the perfect necklace for that special occasion? A strand of pearls is a classic choice.
For decorating your hand, a ring or a bracelet is an excellent choice. The natural beauty of a pearl is enough to enhance the look of any ensemble, for any occasion.
Whether you already have a piece of pearl jewelry in your wardrobe or you are planning to add it in your collection, you will be amazed to see its versatility. Whatever you choose, the style of this jewelry is sure to impress!