Pearls are different from other gemstones which are produced inside the Earth’s deeps. Pearls are created naturally by living creatures which are mollusks. Mollusks have soft whole body inside and a hard outside shell. Mollusks live as freshwater habitats or main land. History about pearls dated back from 530 million years ago. An average of 100,000 living mollusks abound our world today.
Every mollusk which produces shell can make pearls. However, natural pearls are uncommon and perhaps can be found for one in every ten thousand animals. The pearl industry has begun since 20th century and has developed certain methods to induce pearl production.
Generally, pearls can be classified into two categories the natural and cultured pearls. Natural pearls are those produced when an intruder enters into the shell of any mollusks enabling it to grow into nacre around the shells’ particles. Natural Pearls are very rare and thus quite expensive.
Cultured Pearls are pearls also growing inside the mollusk but with interference from human. An object is inserted inside the shell and will be coated with nacre layers. The thicker the nacre coating the more durable the pearl will be. The coating of nacre and its depth will depend on the mollusk type, the water and how long a thing lives in the mollusks.
It is quite evident that many pearls are produced these days. Men have learned how to culture these gems. One process is putting shells beads inside oysters and returning it to the water to let it produced more. Cultured pearls are produced mostly in Japan. In South Pacific where there are warmer waters, larger oysters are
These gems are cherished and symbolize perfection and purity. Pearls have occurred naturally in various shapes, colors and sizes. Pearls’ classification with regards to its shapes is as follows:
1.Spherical – pearls that are round and the most pleasing shape; rounder pearls are more expensive.
2.Baroque – pearls which have irregular shapes. These pearls are the cheapest of all kinds but also beautiful and unique.
3.Symmetrical – pearls which can be pear in shape and those shapes with symmetry but not necessarily round.
Pearls can further be classified to different types which are generally from the country where they are produced. Some of the types are:
1.Black pearls which are produced from black oysters. Found in South Sea. Some pearls can be made black by using dyes but the natural colors are dark gray or dark green.
2.Akoya pearls are those representing the most common pearls. When you heard of pearl, Akoya pearl is the image which you are trying to describe. These kinds of pearls are mostly cultured in Japan and the oysters producing them are palm sized thus pearls in them are not those large. Only about 2mm to 10mm.
3.South sea pearls are those from white oysters and which is the largest. They are silvery grey in color and measures 15mm. These pearls are very expensive and very rare.
4.South sea half pearls are hemispherical in shape. They are also silvery grey in color and are quite similar to the Mabe Pearls.
5.Mabe pearls are also hemispherical with a rainbow colored luster. Mabe pearls just differ from south sea pearls in color. These pearls are cultivated and cultured nowadays.
6.Seed pearls are very small and resemble a poppy seed. The shape is oval or distorted.
7.Freshwater pearls are cultured mostly in Lake Biwa Japan; others are imports from China. These pearls are oval in shape and white in color. There can also be orange and wine colored freshwater pearls.
8.Keshi pearls are cultured in Akoya and South Sea also. They are small with white silver and silver grey color.
9.Kasumiga pearls are new types of pearls coming from Tokyo lakes in the northeast. The mollusks producing them are Japan and China crossbreeds. These pearls are rosy, light or dark pink in colors.
Pearls whether cultured or natural are fragile and should be taken cared of. Here are some tips on how to handle your pearls:
oTake off the pearls when applying any body creams; put them on when you have applied your make up already.
oClean the pearls by wiping it with soft cloth regularly. You can also wet the cloth with water or mild soap in case the pearls are dirty.
oDo not use harsh soaps and detergents and ammonia in cleaning your pearls
oIn storing your pearls, do not put it together with other pieces of jewelry that can scratched it easily.
oWear the pearls often. The natural body oil can make pearls lustrous.
All pearls carry with them the class and charm any gemstones can have. It is a gift that we have bountiful pearls available in our planet. But with man’s given talent, cultured pearls are also made within our reach. We should take care of these stones because their beauty doesn’t fade away but lasts a lifetime.
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