To paraphrase Coco Chanel, every woman needs pearls. I couldn’t agree more. They are created by natural processes. Pearls are considered gemstones; they were just created by a living thing, not by minerals in the ground. Nothing else compares…Can you imagine that an irritant can create such a wondrous gem? An Oyster (salt water) or Mollusk (fresh water) form a protein secretion called conchiolin to cover the irritant? That becomes the nacre (the skin if you will) lustrous, iridescent, and can be most colors. This was the first engagement ring. Yes, ladies, it was not diamond.
Pearls can be dyed to create bright colors, but come in wonderful natural shades of pink, blue, lavender, green, black, golden, champagne, shall I go on?
It’s one of the jewelry box items I mentioned in a previous blog. If you are born in June, this is your birthstone. A great pearl feels like silk to the touch, they warm to your body’s temperature. If you take a pearl and rub it against your tooth, if it’s real, it will feel gritty.
Japanese Akoyas have such a mirror like luster, they almost don’t look natural! Sizes can be 2mm and up to 9mm.
South Sea pearls can come in huge sizes from 8mm up to 20mm! (picture jawbreaker) They also have a beautiful luster. Colors range from silver white, champagne gold, to deep golden.
Tahitian pearls have wondrous colors, beautiful luster and range from 8mm to 15mm. Colors range from aubergine, black, brown, Peacock or green and even white (rare but can happen).
Fresh water pearls are found in fresh lakes and streams. Some are naturally all nacre; no man made irritant was needed to create it. They are white, pink, lavender, pale gold. They can also be dyed. Sizes can be 2mm up to 20mm.
The overtone on a pearl can make a difference to its appearance. They can have a silver, a rosé or even a peacock overtone. As with gemstones, color is everything. Even white pearls have an overtone.
I am a pearl girl; it is my absolute favorite gemstone. What’s yours?