Natural Pearl Jewelery- Pearl Necklace and earings

The beauty of natural pearls

The beauty of natural pearls never fails to amaze me.  A resplendent pearl necklace clinging to the neck.

Molluscs create pearls in a palette of colours, from white to black and almost everything in between. Pearl colour refers specifically to the colour of the pearl's body, considered the fundamental colour of the pearl.

Like the "four Cs" of diamond quality, shopping for pearls involves paying attention to a few important elements. High-quality pearl jewelry should consist of pearls of high luster and good surface quality, and the pearls should match in terms of colour, shape and size

Pearl Colours

Pearls come in a variety of different colours, from silvery white, to pinkish, to black. The consistency of the colour affects the value; however, fashion trends and colour demands also affect prices.  Colours generally range from cream, to silver-white, to black. But there are also colour overtones reflected across a pearl's surface. In fact, the colour of a pearl more often than not is a meld of its body colour and its overtone, just as the term "white-rose" will describe a white pearl with a rosy-coloured hue.

Luster

Luster is the shine and glow of the pearl, and a very important factor when it comes to judging beauty. The intensity of a pearl's luster is determined by its nacre, the layers of calcium carbonate that make up the pearl. The longer a pearl is left in the oyster, the thicker the nacre. The luster of a good quality pearl should be bright and not dull.

Shape of pearls

Pearls come in many shapes, depending on how they are formed within the mollusk. Because most people expect pearls to be round, and round pearls are very rare, they tend to be much more expensive than other shapes.

Surface Quality

Surface quality refers to the topography of the pearl. Pearls are natural, so when you look at them closely, many tend to have imperfections such as tiny spots, bumps, or wrinkles. A pearl with fewer surface markings is more rare and valuable.

Pearl Size

Pearl size refers to the pearl's diameter, which is measured in millimeters. Normally, the larger the pearl, the more rare it is and the more valuable. Keep in mind that pearl strands also have a length, which also affects price because of the number of pearls needed to create that particular

 

Types of pearls

Abalone Pearl: A naturally cultivated pearl from an abalone, which is a univalve mollusc.

Akoya Cultured Pearl: Pearls produced by deliberate human intervention in several varieties of saltwater mollusks generally found in the waters around Japan and China. The Akoya pearl ranges in colour from cream, white, rose, gold and blue-gray, and remains justly famous in the hierarchy of cultured pearls for its spectacular luster and beauty.

Baroque: A cultured pearl that is asymmetrical and free form in shape.

Biwa Pearl: A cultured pearl cultivated in a freshwater mussel in Lake Biwa, in Japan. Recently, the term has been allowed to refer to any pearl cultivated in a freshwater mussel in Japan.

Conch Pearl: Similar in colour to pink coral, these pearls are produced by a conch, which is a saltwater mollusk from tropical waters.

Cultured Pearl: A pearl grown in a mollusk that has been surgically implanted with an irritant, through human intervention.

Cultivated Pearl: A pearl grown in a mollusk that has been surgically implanted with an irritant, through human intervention.

Freshwater Cultured Pearl: A cultured pearl cultivated in a freshwater mollusk from a lake, river or pond.

Imitation Pearl: Man- or machine-made pearls.

Keshii Pearl: Also known as a Seed Pearl. It is a non-nucleated pearl produced accidentally as a by-product of the cultivating process, and consequently not considered a natural pearl.

Mabe Pearl: A dome-shaped cultured pearl cultivated on the inner shell of a mollusk rather than in its body.

South Sea Cultured Pearl: Ranging in hues of white, gold, silver, cream and champagne, these cultured pearls are quite large and are cultivated in the white-lip oyster.

Tahitian Cultured Pearl: Cultured pearls cultivated in the black-lip oyster found in French Polynesia, and producing pearls in natural tints of black, silver, gray, green, orange, gold, blue and purple.

 

 

The Chinese have always done things a little differently. Whether it's reading from the right or governing from the left, the world's oldest continuous nation plods on inexorably, often making up its model as it goes along.

As the last of the red banners from the People's Republic's 50th Anniversary parade are stuffed into the dustbin, it is worth noting that for all the Western derision of China's human rights record, political totalitarianism and software pirating, it remains the last standing communist state that still matters. Somehow they muddled through while the others gave in, tweaking their system with a touch of reform here and a Pizza Hut there. And they've more than survived - they've thrived, maintained order, developed nuclear weapons, and managed to consistently export more than they import.

This strange cocktail of heavily armed state control, a foot in the free market door, and massive output of inexpensive product appears to have applied well to the cultured pearl industry, which has grown in just a few decades from a shoddy Japanese knockoff to the world's largest supplier. And more importantly, as the rest of the industry grits its teeth, the Chinese flood is working its way upmarket. The stuff is good, and getting better. The elite producers of Akoya, South Sea and Tahiti pearls can no longer dismiss what consumers are starting to notice.

The Chinese persistence hasn't stopped with mere market penetration, however, and with the new upgrades in quality, the sheer volume of the Chinese output threatens to flood the market like so many sweatshop shoes. Critics say Chinese producers are ignoring the stability needs of the industry, an accusation familiar to producers in textiles, clothing, and just about any other industry that's been hurt by the industrial giant. As always, however, the Chinese ignore the criticism, turn inward and keep producing. And along the plodding path a little bit of luck hasn't hurt either.

Steady pollution increases in Japan's Biwa Lake, the name synonymous with freshwater pearls, have been responsible for dramatic falls in pearl production. But the big break for China's freshwater pearl industry came in 1994 when Japanese pearl farms were hit hard with "red tide," a menacing and deadly toxin-producing micro-organism that killed over 150 million pearl-producing oysters by 1996.

According to Chinese mythology, a great disaster indicates anger of the gods at the reigning regime, and foretells a shift in the hands of power. Mao died a year after the great Tangshan Earthquake that killed 240,000 people, and the Gang of Four that masterminded the Cultural Revolution were soon cast out. Akoya has ruled the pearl industries for years - can the Chinese take over the mantle?

 

 

 

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