As we all know, pearls are the gems of the ocean. However, some people lack knowledge in understanding the true value of pearls.
Unlike the common white and cream colors that we know, pearls come in a variety of colors. Most people don’t know that pearls come in different shapes too. When it comes to pearls, educating yourself about the types and origins of pearls is more valuable than the price itself.
Pearls are one of Mother Nature’s precious creations. They are created by irritants formed in the mussel tissue inside the oyster. The defense mechanism secretes a milk-like substance that forms a layer over the irritants that creates the pearls. The coated layer is called nacre. All coats are formed differently, contributing to the different color pearls with different types of shine.
The variety of shapes is a result of the natural formation of the pearls. Pearls are not man-made nor manufactured, hence why the shapes are not uniformed.
The value of pearls has changed over the past few years. In the past, pearls had a high value and were only accessible to those of royalty and those from upper social classes. Pearls were considered to be an indication of wealth, nobility, status, and class.
Now, pearls have a lower value than in the past and are accessible to lower social classes due to the variants that were formed during the years.
There are two ways that pearls are formed in oysters, namely natural and cultured.
Natural pearls are formed due to irritants getting inside of oysters as explained above. These irritants then employ a defense mechanism whereby a milky substance is secreted and formed over the irritants. Layer after layer, the nacre begins to form natural pearls.
In contrast, cultured pearls are purposely formed inside a mollusk and are grown on farms. Pearl farmers place the irritants inside the oysters that trigger the defense mechanism.
Shell bead nuclei are inserted into the oysters to form cultured pearls. This is a fragile and slow process. The shell bead nuclei act as the irritant and activate the defense mechanism of the oyster, secreting the coated layer that forms the pearls.
Cultured pearls require healthy environments for healthy harvesting. Therefore, pearl farmers need to designate a healthy environment for the successful harvesting of pearls.
Keep in mind, that cultured pearls are not imitation pearls; instead, they are natural pearls. The only noticeable difference is how pearls are formed. A natural process forms natural pearls, whereas an induced process forms cultured pearls.
Pearls are one of the little things loved by many people worldwide. They are popular in jewelry industries and are used for pieces such as wedding jewelry, engagement rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and many more. The best way to understand everything about pearls is to educate yourself on the subject matter. This will help you when buying pearls. Everyone’s preference will be different. Some will prefer oval cream pearls, whereas others might choose the traditional white round pearl. It all comes down to choice.