Pearls: How are they made? Different kinds of pearls and their value

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Pearls are considered as one of the most precious stones that are available in the market. But unlike the others, pearls came from the sea, which is produced by a type of organism which is a mollusk. Mollusks are shellfish species, particularly the oyster, they are the ones who produce pearls.

 

 

How are they made?

A natural pearl begins its life inside an oyster's shell when an intruder, such as a grain of sand or a bit of floating food, slips in between one of the two shells of the oyster, a type of mollusk, and the protective layer that covers the mollusk's organs, called the mantle.

In order to protect itself from irritation, the oyster will quickly begin covering the uninvited visitor with layers of nacre — the mineral substance that fashions the mollusk's shells. Layer upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coat the grain of sand until the iridescent gem is formed.

 

Kinds of pearls

There are two processes of making a pearl: naturally or cultured. Cultured pearls are made in the same way. The only difference is that instead of accidental circumstances, a "pearl farmer" embeds a grain of sand into the mollusk.

 

The different types of pearls

There are a variety of pearls that is being produced and each one has a different value and grading.

 

 

South Sea Pearls

Cultivated primarily in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia, and the islands of the South Pacific. They are produced by the oyster species Pinctada maxima.

South Sea pearls tend to be both the largest and the rarest of pearls. Their rarity is due to the fact that growing larger pearls requires a great deal of time, during which many things can go wrong: the oysters can die, the pearl can become misshapen, etc.

Thus, South Sea pearls tend to be among the most expensive of pearls, commanding high prices for quality specimens. Their most common colors are white, silver, and gold.

 

 

 

Akoya Pearls

(Grown in Japan and China) Akoya pearls are the classic cultured pearls of Japan. They are produced by sea oysters and they are considered as the most lustrous of all pearls found anywhere in the world.

The Akoya pearl is either white or cream in body color and can have yellow, pink or blue hues. Some Akoya pearls achieve a rosé or green overtone. It typically has an excellent, good or fair luster, which is why the Akoya is such a prized gem.

The most highly valued Akoyas are larger, have excellent luster and clean surface quality. Only one pearl and maybe an accidental Keshi pearl is harvested from one oyster. This is one reason why sea pearls are usually has a higher price compare to freshwater pearls.

 

 

Freshwater pearls

The most affordable pearls sold today, freshwater pearls are known for baroque shapes, white and pastel body colors and softer luster than akoya (except in the case of rare metallic).

With natural pastel colors and shapes that range from perfectly round to free-form baroque, freshwater pearls offer a widest range of options.

Common sizes range from 5 mm to 12 mm, but recent advances have led to the development of round and baroque pearls as large as 20 mm.

 

 

Sea shell pearl

Sea shell pearl is a man-made pearl from the shell of an oyster. The base of the pearl is the sea shell, which is covered and refined to the finishing shape of the pearl. In order to produce an excellent quality pearl, a key element is what we call a 'mother of pearl bead'. This element adds weight, value and durability to the pearl.

 

 

Tahiti pearls

Tahitian pearls grown in French Polynesia are the only naturally dark pearls. Although often referred to as black, Tahitian pearls come in a rainbow of exotic colors.

Round Tahitian pearls are quite rare but other fun shapes like drops, baroque, and ovals are highly-sought and still considered very valuable.

When measured perpendicular to the drill hole, most Tahitians range in size from 8 mm to 15 mm regardless of shape.

 

Bottom line 

Authentic pearls are quite expensive and most people can't afford it. So as an alternative, we have some of it here at Viveree Rosse! you can browse our products and can look for various pearl jewelry here!

 

Image sources:

http://www.benbridge.com/blog/education/saltwater-pearls-vs-freshwater-pearls

https://www.angleseyseazoo.co.uk/en/pearls

http://www.gemstonebuzz.com/cultured-pearl

http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/does-every-oyster-have-a-pearl/

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