How Much Do You Know About Pearls?
Pearls are one of the oldest organic gemstones in the world. They are mostly used in jewelries and fashion industry. Some pearls are even used in herb medicines.
Pearls are produced in the soft tissue of the living shelled mollusk, and are composed of calcium carbonate, just like material of the shell of the mollusk.
Wild pearls, also called natural pearls, are produced in a pure wild environment, without human interference. Natural pearls are extremely rare and are sold at very high price. Pearls used in fine jewelries are mostly cultured pearls, also called farmed pearls. There are also other inexpensive pearls, known as “imitation pearls”, “shell pearls” or “mother of pearl”. They are pearls made of artificial core (usually plastic or glass) with coated surface, to make them look like real pearls. These inexpensive pearls are not genuine and have poor quality.
There are different types of cultured pearls (farmed pearls). The most common types are Freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahiti pearls and South Sea pearls.
Freshwater Pearls – the diversity of the nature
Freshwater pearls are created by oysters which live in Freshwater lakes and ponds. Compared to its cousin Akoya pearls, Freshwater pearls come in different shapes and colors. The shape of Freshwater pearls could vary from perfect round, oval, button-shape to waterdrop-shape and irregular baroque shape. Besides the traditional white color, Freshwater pearls come even with cream, champagne, pink, lavender, purple and even darker shades. Due to these characteristics, Freshwater pearls have been many jewelry designers’ favorite.
Ring made of AAA quality freshwater pearl and 18K solid gold
Akoya Pearls - the elegance of the nature
Akoya pearls have long history of being cultured pearls. They are saltwater pearls and mostly produced in Japan. The oysters which produce Akoya pearls are called Akoya oysters (pinctada fucata martensii). Akoya pearls are small in size and usually have perfect round shape, bright luster and wide color range (white, cream, pink, light green, blue and silver). Due to these characteristics, Akoya pearls are used a lot in classic pearl jewelries.
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Tahiti Pearls - the mystery of the nature
Tahiti pearls are saltwater pearls and produced by black-lipped oysters called pinctada margaritifera. Tahiti pearls are also known as black pearls, but they are not actually black. They do have a dark color range, from deep green, blue, silver, to brown and purple. Tahiti pearls are the only natural “black” colored pearls. Black Akoya and Freshwater pearls are all dyed pearls. Tahiti pearls are large in size, comparing to Freshwater pearls and Akoya pearls. Another interesting fact about Tahiti pearls is that Tahiti pearls are not actually produced in Tahiti. They are mostly produced in French Polynesia: Tuamotu Archipelago and Gambier Islands.
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South Sea Pearls – the magnificence of the nature
South Sea pearls are salt water pearls and produced by a type of oyster which is called pinctada maxima. This type of oyster is the largest oyster among all the pearl oysters, and there are two sub-species: silver-lipped and gold-lipped. Pearls produced by silver-lipped oysters come with fine white or silver color and usually combined with blue overtone; while gold-lipped oysters usually produce cream, champagne or deep golden colored pearls. The majority of white color ranged South Sea pearls is produced in Australia; while the golden color ranged South Sea pearls are mostly produced in Philippines and Indonesia. South Sea pearls are large in size, comparing to Freshwater pearls and Akoya Pearls.
Golden South Sea Pearls
Baroque Pearls - the uniqueness of the nature
All the above four types of pearls could have pearls which are in Baroque form. Baroque pearls are a type of pearls which have irregular shapes, surface, shades, luster and sizes. Every baroque pearl is unique. Baroque pearls could be bold and expressive, yet not lose pearl’s soft and feminine side. The word baroque is originated from Portuguese word “barroco”, which describes a form of art, featuring a highly ornate and often extravagant style.
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