I am sure that most of you are aware that pearls are a natural phenomenon. The value of pearls is determined by lustre, shape, size, lack of flaws on the surface and symmetry. The most important factor to a jeweller is lustre. So, if your natural pearls are perfectly round and smooth with a magnificent lustre, then they are very highly prized.
In some ways it is fortunate that many pearls are now ‘manufactured’, or as it is called in the trade ‘cultured’ or ‘farmed’, as this means they have become far more available to the wider public. Imitation pearls are often used in costume jewellery but the lustre is nowhere near the same as the genuine article.
Freshwater and saltwater pearls differ in where they come from (as the name suggests!) Freshwater pearls are formed in freshwater mussels and live in rivers, lakes, ponds and other freshwater areas. Saltwater pearls are grown in the traditional oyster and live in oceans. All pearls are formed inside the shell of a mollusc. The reason they are formed is as protection for the mollusc against a threatening irritant inside the shell or from an attack from outside. I find it amazing that such a beautiful thing can come from a creature protecting itself.
Attributes of Pearl:
Traditional birthstone for June
Zodiac stone for Gemini and Cancer
Purity, honesty and innocence
Helps with concentration and focus
Assists meditation and tranquility
Said to give the wearer wisdom
Looking at these attributes, it’s hardly surprising that pearls are often chosen as jewellery for a bride.
One important thing to mention before I end this blog on pearls is that they are porous. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know that it is important that your jewellery is the last thing you put on before you go out. Any sprays, perfumes, or lotions can damage your jewellery, however it is vital that you take extra care with pearls. Oh, and the best way to look after your pearls is by wearing them - the natural oils in your skin will make them shine even more!
By the way , if you own a double-strand necklace with 55 pearls on one strand and 73 pearls on the other, and resembling the one in this painting, then they once bought a very famous house on Fifth Avenue, New York! If you would like to read more about this necklace and its history then follow this link:
Please note that the stone attribute section is not proven to be a direct outcome of wearing or owning the stone. It is also not a prescription and should not be used alone to treat health problems.