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Classic pearl jewelry has a timeless elegance that is hard to match. Since time immemorial, pearls have been prized the world over. A string of lustrous pearls can spell magic - one that will wrap you in its spell. Learn more about Bridal pearl jewelry as well as Tahitian black pearl jewelry. Take a few tips on caring for your precious pearl jewelry so that they retain their luster and shine. Today you can pick up cultured pearl jewelry in an array of designs that can leave you spellbound.
Cultured Pearl Jewelry
Some regions of the world are renowned for the type of pearls they produce. Some of the better known varieties include South Sea pearls and Oriental pearls and Biwa pearls that are cultivated in the Biwa Lake in Japan. The patented technique of creating cultured pearls led to the creation of an entire industry that harvests pearls.
Akoya Pearls - This type of pearl is cultivated in the Japanese Akoya oyster and accounts for a sizeable segment of the pearl market. These pearls are typically in the range of about 2mm to 9mm. A polished shell bead and mantle tissue is implanted into the oyster to create a fine cultured pearl.
Freshwater Pearls - Such pearls are cultivated in freshwater mollusks. Such pearls are harvested in large numbers and can be found at reasonable rates.
Mahe Pearls - This type of cultured pearl is created by inserting a hemispherical nucleus directly next to the inside oyster shell. The nacre is formed over this half sphere. The other half is filled with paste and mother of pearl. Mahe pearls are usually light pink or even bluish in color.
South Sea Pearls - These pearls are created by the big oysters found in the regions of Australia, Myanmar and Indonesia. This type of pearl is larger - 9mm to 16mm. South Sea pearls are white with silver or rose undertones
Buying Pearl Jewelry
Nacre - Each pearl has a coating known as nacre. The nacre is an indication of the life of the pearl. Typically a pearl with a nacre thickness of over 0.4mm will last a lifetime. Pearls with thin nacres less than 0.2 mm will wear off over time. The nacre is composed of microscopic crystals that are aligned with unique perfection so as to reflect and refract light on different axes. This lends the unique glow to the pearl. The depth of the nacre coating depends on the type of creature involved, the water it lives in as well as the length of time that the foreign irritant is left inside the mollusk. Nacre is a composition of calcium carbonate, water and organic materials.
Color - Cultured pearls come in a wide range of colors - white, pink, cream, yellow, golden, gray, silver, blue, black and green. Pearls come in 5 main color categories - pink, white, cream, light cream and yellow. The white and pink pearls tend to be most expensive. Choosing pearl colors is a personal choice, since women choose pearls that complement their skin tone. Akoya pearls tend to be white or with subtle rose undertones. Each pearl has a main color (body color) and an overtone (additional color that may be spread over the pearl's surface). Women with a fairer coloring would look best in light colored pearls whereas those with a darker skin tone should opt for darker or golden pearls.
Shape - Round is a preferred shape for pearls. Other pearl shapes that are popularly used in jewelry are oval shaped and baroque. Saltwater pearls tend to be mostly round whereas freshwater pearls are oval.
Surface Texture - Pearls have some imperfections on the surface and those with more imperfections tend to be cheaper.
Size - Typically, pearls of sizes 6.5-7mm, 7-7.5mm, and 7.5-8mm are used for necklaces. Small pearls are ideal for petite women as larger ones can be overbearing. Pearl sizes are also chosen, keeping in mind the jewelry design.
Bridal Pearl Jewelry
Mother of Pearl Jewelry
Tahitian Black Pearl Jewelry
Buying Pearl Jewelry