Pearl Jewellery

By: Alex S Smith

A pearl is a hard, rounded object produced by certain animals, primarily mollusks such as oysters. Pearls can be used in jewellery and also crushed in cosmetics or paint formulations. Pearl is valued as a gemstone and is cultivated or harvested for jewellery.

There are two types of pearls, one is natural or true pearl and other is cultured pearl. Natural pearl is formed without any human intervention at all and these are very rare. Cultured pearl is one that has been formed on a pearl farm with human aid. Pearls are generally white or cream, but the colour of pearl can vary according to the colour of nacre in the various species of mollusk used. Pearls can be black, dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink and purple.

Value and Use of Pearls in Jewellery

The value of the pearls is determined by a combination of the luster, colour, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry. Natural pearls are very rare jewels, thus very much costly. The valuation factors include size, shape, surface quality, orientation, and luster. Luster is the most important factor of pearl quality.

Pearls come in different shapes. They can be round, semi-round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque, and circled. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable shape. Semi-rounds and button pearls are used in necklaces. Popular use of button pearls is in single pendants or earrings. Drop and pear shaped pearls are referred as teardrop pearls and are used in earrings, pendants, or as a center pearl in necklaces.

Grading and Quality

Unlike diamonds there is no universally accepted standard for grading pearls. There are, however, universally recognized grading criteria. Pearls are unique among gemstones because they are natural, organic products of living creatures, so they have different grading standards. Six factors determine the quality, value, and beauty of pearls: nacre, luster, surface, shape, colour and size.

Care of Pearls

Pearls are organic substance made of calcium carbonate. It's very important to care for your pearls. They can be damaged by cosmetics, perfumes, hair spray, or any chemicals, even natural acids contains in body oil or sweat can damage lustre of pearls. So, you should put your pearl jewellery at least 30 minutes after applying such cosmetics containing chemicals. Wipe the pearls with a soft cloth after you wear them, which ensure they remain free of any harmful effects of chemical compounds. Keep your pearls separated from hard jewellery to prevent scratches. Keep them is soft cloth pouch or in specially designed jewellery boxes. One most important thing, never forget to restring your pearl jewellery once in a year.

Jewelry
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