History of Pearls
The pearl is one of the oldest gems in the world. As early as 2300 BC, pearls were given to the Chinese Emperor as gifts. Pearl jewellery was also very popular in Rome. It is the only gem that is formed out of a living thing. Pearls are made when a small irritant finds its way inside an oyster or mollusk. This can be a grain of sand/piece of shell but is more typically a little parasite. This causes it to secrete a crystalline substance called nacre, which builds up around the irritant in layers until a pearl is formed.
Types of Pearls
Pearls can be found in many shades, including pink and green, white and black are the most common colors. They also come in many different shapes from round, semi-round, pear, drop, button, baroque, oval, and circle. Pearls can be found in freshwater or saltwater. South Sea pearls are usually harvested from Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In recent years, Akoya pearls have also gained a lot of popularity, they can be found in saltwater. Tahitian pearls, the black pearls come from Tahiti, hence the name. Freshwater pearls are much cheaper and are found in China.
As with gemstones, the quality of a pearl is determined by several criteria including its size, shape, colour, and lustre. In general, the rounder the pearls, the more expensive the pearls. A good quality round pearl necklace can cost a lot more than a diamond necklace.
Caring for Pearl Jewellery
Pearls also require more care as compared to diamonds. Pearl jewellery should always be kept separate from other jewellery such as diamond so that it does not get scratches. In a humid country such as Singapore, it’s also recommended to “air” your pearls now and then. Simply take them out from your jewellery box and allow them to “breath”!
If you wear your pearl jewellery often, it’s good to always wipe them with a jewellery cloth after each use. It’s also a good habit to spray your perfume before wearing any jewellery and allowing it to dry off on your skin. It is especially recommended for pearl jewellery. For pearl necklaces, it is also wise to send them to your Jeweller to check every few years. This is to check if any re-stringing is needed. These are some basic care you can do to maintain your pearl luster.
Best Quote on Pearl
Our favourite quote on pearl – “I feel undressed if I don’t have my pearls on. My pearls are my security blanket.” – Lady Sarah Churchill
With this quote, Lady Sarah Churchill perfectly conveys the way many women feel about their pearl jewellery. The simple, mesmerizing beauty of the gemstone makes you want to wear them every single day, often becoming your favorite piece of jewelry.