Officially the world jewel, pearls are revered since before written history. For this reason, their discovery cannot be credited to one person particularly, but it is thought that people first detected them. We know that they have been worn for millennia due to a fragment of pearl jewellery found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess which dates back.
Pearls were presented as gifts to Oriental royalty as early as 2300 BC, while in early Rome, pearl jewelry was regarded as that the ultimate status symbol. So precious were the gems that are spherical that from the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar passed a law restricting the wearing of pearls to the ruling classes.
The abundance of natural oyster beds in the Persian Gulf meant that pearls also carried great value in Arab cultures, in which legend stated that diamonds were formed from dewdrops that were swallowed by oysters when they dropped to the sea. Before the advent of cultured pearls, the Persian Gulf was at the middle of the pearl trade and it was a source of prosperity in the region.
With such a long and ancient tradition, it’s no question that, over time, the pearl became shrouded in legend and myth. In ancient China, while, at the Dark Ages, knights wore pearls about the battle, presuming that the diamonds could keep them 39, pearl jewelry has been thought to symbolise the purity of the wearer. According to legend, Cleopatra smashed a pearl into a glass of wine to show she could give the dinner ever.
Pearls are an important trade product because Roman times, and also the discovery of pearls at Central and South America from the 15th and 16th century led to the so-called Pearl Age. In which women of nobility and royalty wore earrings pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets and broochesneed for pearl jewelry became so high that oyster supplies began to dwindle.
Unlike gemstones that are mined in the ground, a living organism creates a pearl and, in fact, their very existence is a freak of nature. A bead is formed when an irritant, such as a parasite or piece of shell, which becomes accidentally lodged in an oyster’s soft inside, causing it to exude a crystalline substance called nacre, which builds up around the dermis in layers until a bead is formed. Cultured pearls are formed via precisely the process, the difference being that the irritant is implanted rather. If you’re looking for an example of cultured pearls take a look at MyPearls rings.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the only means of collecting pearls was by sailors risking their own lives at depths of around 100ft to regain the bead. It was a dangerous pursuit as just three or four standard pearls could toss up and also one that transported likelihood of success. Freshwater molluscs residing in ponds and rivers were easier to gather, but these pearl beds were earmarked for harvesting by royalty.
Nowadays, natural pearls are among the rarest of gems and their almost entirely depleted supply means that they are located very infrequently only in the waters away Bahrain and Australia. The lack of natural pearls is reflected at the prices they bring with all pearls and pearl bracelets . A set of natural pearl earrings – abandoned –
Intense bidding wars have also erupted over high quality natural pearl bracelets with the winning bids running to several million dollars. Elizabeth Taylor’s famous La Peregrina 16th century trophy, which offered to US$11.8 million, is a case in point. Contrary to the gemstone that is senile, the creation of pure pearls depends on stable temperatures, each of which are thrown into disarray by pollution and global warming and seas. Virtually all pearl jewellery in the marketplace these days is made using pearls which have been cultivated and farmed.
Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a noodle manufacturer, produced the world’s first cultured pearl in 1893 by manually introducing an irritant to an oyster to stimulate it to create a decoration. The introduction of pearls from the early 1900s led to the value of natural pearls to plummet and turned into the pearl sector. By 1935, there were 350 trophy farms in Japan, making 10 million cultured diamonds a year, though Mikimoto needed to constantly defend herself against accusations that his pearls weren’t “actual”. The contrary was spoken to by the scientific evidence; the Egyptian pearls had the exact same qualities as those formed in sea beds, so the only difference was that they had at getting the process 40, a hand.
Mikimoto’s Akoya pearls continue to be used today by the jewelry house that bears his name and are famous for their brilliant lustre and rich colours, which vary from white, cream and pink, to crimson pink.
Pearls are available, or cultivated, in saltwater or freshwater and there are numerous diverse types of pearls depending on what mollusc they originate from. Freshwater pearls have been made in China as well as because of their prosperity, they’re less expensive than their saltwater cousins. Saltwater pearls incorporate the Akoya in addition to Tahitian pearls, which arise in other islands and Tahiti in French Polynesia. The latter come in cream, white or golden colors with sizes ranging from 9mm to 20mm and is the biggest of the pearl varieties. A Tahitian pearl can also be known as a dark pearl, but its color spectrum also has grey, blue, green and purple.Read about Tahitian pearls here.
Coloured pearls have been popular with both people as far back as the 17th century and, in the last several years, these dim wonders of the sea have witnessed a revival, with a new production of fashion-conscious consumers embracing jewelry featuring coloured pearls as an edgier alternative to the classic white pearl necklace.
Baroque South Sea or Tahitian pearls are often utilised in exceptional, contemporary jewellery to great effect while perfectly round pearls have traditionally become the most coveted.
Only speaking, oysters only produce pearls, but some jewels that are made in different molluscs also qualify with this particular moniker. These include incredibly uncommon, oval-shaped conch pearls and yellowish-orange Melo Melo pearls. Means of a substance composed of calcite forms these non-nacreous pearls, and their beauty is no less spectacular while they lack the iridescence of nacreous pearls.
Varying in colour from yellow to crimson crimson, with soft pink being the hottest color, conch pearls cannot be cultivated and are only located in one in every 10,000 Queen conch molluscs. Consequently, conch rings are precious and even a pea-sized gem could draw as much as US$120,000. Mikimoto recently launched a selection of conch pearl jewelry, and also the distinctive pink pearls also have been integrated into stones by the likes of Boucheron jewellery and Tiffany & Co..
Also incredibly amazing and sought after are all abalone pearls, that are among the most popular in the world since they’re not cultured and only discovered by chance in rugged, coastal waters.
Concerning their fashion currency, pearls have had something of a bumpy journey, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century. Pearl necklaces in the kind of strands that were simple represented the fashion for streamlined designs. These necklaces that are long would frequently measure over 30 inches and be decorated with a tassel for a pendant. She shocked society women by teaming her pearls and blending the object. Largely because of her endorsement jewelry became popular and several women wore imitation pearl jewelry made out of glass Lucite.
Inspired by Mademoiselle’s enthusiasm for the gem, in 2014 Chanel launched a high jewellery collection dedicated to the timeless pearl. The Perles Swing collection, composed of a pearl bracelet, necklace and earrings, is a combination of pastel-coloured South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater cultured pearls.
Jackie Kennedy is just another pearl-wearing celebrity whose signature triple strand pearl necklace actually consisted of imitation gems made from glass as opposed to the actual deal. Audrey Hepburn’s title can be interchangeable with pearls, make it a pair of pearl earrings or a necklace subtly accentuating her features.
Somewhere across the 1980s pearls acquired a reputation as the help of elderly ladies in twinsets with blue-rinse hairdos. Several high jewellery houses prominently feature pearls within their jewellery collections that are own high and designers such as Kova are also incorporating into jewellery designs them.
As with diamonds, the quality of a pearl is determined by many criteria including its size, shape, colour and lustre. An important factor is the depth of the nacre since this decides not merely the pearl’s lustre but also how long it will last. Unlike the diamond that is stronger, pearls need a little bit of TLC to make sure they stay looking pristine. Pearl should always be stored separately to guarantee the rock does not scratch at their face. We would advise placing pearl jewels before placing them in the jewellery box. Acidic elements like even sweat and perfume can dull a pearl’s lustre, so never spray scent onto them and wash the pearls. In the case of pearl necklaces, it’s a good idea each five years, to take them into a jeweller to check if they need re-stringing.
Traditionally, the pearls were renowned for their uniformity in size and colour but today it seems that the more avant-garde, the greater. Pearls in vibrant colours and unusual shapes have been incorporated into unique jewels by jewellers renowned for their creativity, for example Boghossian and Hemmerle, although YOKO London provides a remarkably wide palette of coloured pearls so vibrant it’s hard to think they were shaped naturally – far removed from the traditional discreet white pearl studs gracing the ear lobes of ladies who lunch.