June babies, it’s your month! Pearl is your birthstone, and let us just say, this is one of our favorite gems! Pearl jewelry is simply classic, and we consider it a staple for your jewelry box. Pearls are elegant but casual enough to wear everyday, no matter your outfit. Keep reading to learn all about pearls!
"Pearls are always appropriate." - Jackie Kennedy
Natural pearls are some of the rarest treasures in the world. Pearls are found in oysters, but only a very small percentage of oysters in the world possess pearls, let alone, ones nice enough to be made into jewelry. If you want to make a pearl necklace or bracelet, then the pearls also have to match—this is why some strands of pearls can be tens of thousands of dollars!
Pearls can grow in both salt water and fresh water oysters. Pearls are formed when an irritant, like sand, gets into an oyster. As a defense mechanism, the oyster produces secretions to encapsulate the irritant. Many layers of this forms the pearl!
From left to right:
- 14k white gold 6.5mm cultured pearl and 0.10ctw diamond ring
- 14k white gold 6mm freshwater pearl and 0.09ctw diamond ring
- 14k white gold cultured pearl and 0.14ctw diamond ring
As for cultured pearls, the process with these is pretty much the same as natural pearls, however it is controlled by a pearl farmer to ensure better results. A “nucleus” made of shell or a bead is inserted into the pearl to begin the pearl formation process.
14k yellow gold freshwater cultured pearl stud earrings
Cultured pearls are typically less expensive than naturally formed pearls, however, there are some exceptions based on the quality. Akoya pearls, formed in the Akoya pearl oyster, are very good quality and thus can be priced higher. Luxury cultured pearl company, Mikimoto, creates the finest, most perfect looking cultured pearls in the world and they can cost upwards of $60,000 for a necklace!
7" 7x7.5mm cultured pearl bracelet
with 14k white gold clasp
In many cultures worldwide, pearls are a symbol of purity which is why they are a classic accessory for brides on their wedding day. Pearls are also often given as gifts for different wedding anniversaries—most commonly for 1st and 30th anniversaries.
Akoya Cultured Pearl Strand
Colors & Shapes
Pearls can be dyed various colors. Naturally colored pearls have a white/cream color appearance, but a very popular dye color for jewelry is pink. Golden, purple, gray, or even striking black (which is more of a very dark green) are also common color choices. The finest pearls have a stunning reflective luster to them.
Tahitian Cultured Pearl, Rhodolite Garnet & Diamond Earrings
As for shapes, not all pearls are round! They may have an oval, teardrop, or button shape. There are also baroque pearls, which have an irregular, bumpy shape. Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque:
You may have also heard of mother of pearl, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t actually a pearl! Rather, it’s the inner layer of the shell of an oyster. It still has a beautiful luster and is often used in jewelry.
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