The world’s oldest jewel, pearls are revered since before written history. For this reason, their discovery can’t be credited to one individual in particular, but it is thought that men and women detected them. We all know that they’ve been used for millennia in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who dates back found due to some fragment of pearl jewelry.
Pearls were presented as gifts to Chinese infantry as early as 2300 BC, while at early Rome, pearl jewellery was considered that the ultimate status symbol. So prized were the stone that are curved that from the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar passed a regulation limiting the sporting pearls just to the classes.
The abundance of natural oyster beds from the Persian Gulf meant that pearls additionally carried great significance in Arab cultures
, in which legend stated that diamonds were formed from dewdrops which were swallowed by oysters when they dropped to the sea. In the centre of the pearl trade, the Persian Gulf was prior to the advent of cultured pearls and it was a source of wealth in the area.
With this kind of a long and ancient tradition, it is no question that, as time passes, the pearl became shrouded in myth and legend. In early China, while knights wore pearls on the battlefield pearl jewellery has been stated to symbolise the innocence of the wearer. According to legend, Cleopatra crushed a pearl into a glass of wine to show to Marc Antony she could provide the most expensive dinner in history.
Pearls have been an important trade commodity because Roman times, along with the discovery of pearls at Central and South America in the 15th and 16th century resulted in the so called Pearl Age. Where women of nobility and royalty wore earrings pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets and brooches, from the 19th century, demand for pearl jewellery became so large that oyster supplies started to dwindle. Now freshwater pearl rings are widely available from online stores such as MyPearls
Unlike diamonds which are mined in the ground, a living organism produces a pearl as well as in fact, their very existence is a freak of nature. A pearl is formed when an irritant, like a parasite or piece of shell, which becomes accidentally lodged in an oyster’s soft inside, making it to exude a crystalline substance called nacre, which builds up around the irritant in layers until a bead is formed. Cultured pearls are formed through the process, the only difference being that the irritant is implanted in the oyster rather.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the only means of collecting pearls was through divers risking their lives at depths of around 100ft to regain the pearl oysters. It was a dangerous pursuit as just three or four quality pearls would toss up, and also one that transported chance of succeeding. Molluscs residing in streams and shallow rivers were easier to collect, but these pearl beds were earmarked for harvesting by royalty.
Nowadays, natural pearls are among the rarest of gems and their almost completely depleted source means that they are found very infrequently only from the seas off Bahrain and Australia. The scarcity of natural pearls is reflected in the prices they bring with pearl bracelets and pearls selling for record-breaking sums.
Intense bidding wars have also erupted over high quality natural pearl bracelets with all the winning bids running into a couple million dollars. Unlike the shatterproof diamond, natural pearls’ creation depends on clean seas and temperatures, each of which have been thrown into disarray by pollution and global warming. All pearl jewellery in the marketplace now is made with pearls which have been cultivated and farmed.
The debut of pearls at the early 1900s caused the value of organic pearls to plummet and turned into the pearl industry on its mind. From 1935, there were 350 pearl farms in Japan, making 10 million cultured pearls per year, although Mikimoto needed to shield himself against accusations that his pearls weren’t “actual”. The opposite was spoken to by the scientific evidence; the pearls that were Egyptian had the same qualities as those formed in sea beds, so the only difference was they had a hand at getting the organic process began.
Mikimoto’s Akoya pearls continue to be used today by the jewellery house that bears his name and so are renowned for their brilliant lustre and rich colors, which range from white, pink and cream, to purple pink.
Pearls are available, or cultivated, in saltwater or freshwater and there are a number of unique types of pearls depending on what mollusc they arise from. Cultured freshwater pearls are created in China and, because of their prosperity, they are less expensive than their saltwater cousins. Saltwater pearls incorporate the Akoya in addition to Tahitian pearls, which originate from other islands and Tahiti in French Polynesia. The latter is the biggest of of the pearl kinds and include cream, white or golden hues with dimensions. A Tahitian pearl can also be referred to as a dark pearl, though its colour spectrum also has gray, blue, green and purple.Read about Tahitian pearls.
Coloured pearls have been popular with both men and women as far back as the 17th century and, in the last few decades, these dark wonders of the sea have seen a revival, with a new production of fashion-conscious consumers embracing jewelry featuring coloured pearls as a edgier alternative to the traditional white pearl necklace.
Baroque South Sea or Tahitian pearls are frequently used in contemporary jewellery to excellent effect, while round pearls have traditionally become the most coveted.
Strictly speaking, oysters only produce pearls, but some gems that are created in different molluscs also qualify for this moniker. These include incredibly rare, Melo Melo pearls that are yellowish-orange and oval-shaped conch pearls. A substance composed mainly of calcite forms all these pearls, and their beauty is not as spectacular if they lack the iridescence of pearls.
Ranging in colour from yellow to coral red, with soft pink being the hottest colour, conch pearls cannot be cultivated and are only located in one in every 10,000 Queen conch molluscs. As a result, conch rings are amazingly precious and a pea-sized stone could draw up to US$120,000. Mikimoto lately launched a collection of conch pearl jewellery, and also the distinctive pink pearls also have been integrated into stones by the likes of Boucheron jewelry and Tiffany & Co..
Also incredibly beautiful and sought after are all abalone pearls, which are among the most popular in the world since they are not cultured and only found by chance in rugged, coastal waters.
In terms of their fashion money, pearls have had something of a rough travel, especially in the latter half of the 20th century. Pearl necklaces in the kind of strands that were simple represented the fashion. These extended bracelets would frequently measure over 30 inches and also be adorned with a tassel for a pendant. “A lady wants ropes and ropes of pearls,” announced Coco Chanel, who was seldom seen without a heap of pearls casually worn round her neck. Society ladies were stunned by her by blending the actual object and teaming her pearls. Largely thanks to her endorsement, costume jewellery became many and popular girls wore fake pearl jewellery made out of Lucite glass.
Inspired by Mademoiselle’s enthusiasm for the stone, in 2014 Chanel launched a top jewellery collection devoted to the traditional pearl. The Perles Swing collection, consisting of necklace, a pearl necklace and earrings, is also a blend of pastel-coloured South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater cultured pearls.
Jackie Kennedy is another pearl-wearing celebrity whose signature triple strand pearl necklace really consisted of imitation gems made from glass in contrast to the actual deal. Audrey Hepburn’s name can be interchangeable with pearls, make it a set of pearl earrings or a necklace accentuating her features.
Somewhere around the 1980s pearls obtained a reputation as the help of older ladies in twinsets with blue-rinse hairdos. A number of top jewellery houses feature pearls in their jewelry collections that are high and progressive designers like Kova are also incorporating into contemporary jewellery designs them. Read on how to utilize pearls in 2016 here.
As with gemstones, the standard of a pearl is determined by numerous criteria including its dimensions, shape, color and lustre. Because this determines not just the pearl’s lustre but also how much time it will last A significant element is that the depth of the nacre. Unlike the diamond that is stronger, pearls demand a bit of TLC to make certain they stay looking pristine. Pearl jewelry should be stowed separately to make sure the rock does not scratch their face. We would recommend putting pearl stones into a fabric bag before putting them. Elements such as perfume and even sweat can dull a pearl lustre, therefore never spray wipe the pearls and odor onto them. In the case of pearl bracelets, it’s a fantastic idea every five years to take them to check if they want re-stringing.
Traditionally, pearls were celebrated for their uniformity in size and color but today it seems that the more avant-garde, the better. Pearls in vibrant colors and unusual shapes have been incorporated into unique stones by jewellers famous for their creativity, such as Boghossian and Hemmerle, while YOKO London provides an incredibly wide palette of coloured pearls so vibrant it’s difficult to believe they were shaped naturally – far removed from the standard discreet white pearl studs gracing the ear lobes of ladies who lunch.