Precious Pearls and the Glam Lifestyle

by : sarahbaltic

Precious Pearls and the Glam Lifestyle

Dating back to 1960 and beginning with a star made for the actress Joanne Woodward, the Hollywood Walk of Fame has added more than two thousand stars to the pavement along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Real and imaginary figures are included, putting emphasis on what many consider to be the hallmark of the glam life - a career spent on the big screen. Glamour isn't reserved just for the rich and famous however, as today's shoppers have access to the same jewels favored by such starlets as Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet, among others. Pearl jewelry is one of the most obvious glamour statements any lady can make; please read on and we'll take a look at four types of pearls available for the glam-seeker in you!

Not all oysters are the same therefore you will find that there is a difference in the types of pearls that are available. Generally speaking, natural pearls are found by chance while cultured pearls are procured through pearl farms located around the world. While the former is highly prized, natural pearls are also highly priced to reflect their rarity. With pearl farms, prices are much more reasonable as the supply of cultured pearls is more in line with demand.

Four Types of Cultured Pearls:

Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, and Freshwater are the four types of cultured pearls available through most jewelers.

Akoya - China and Japan are two of the largest producers of the Akoya, a pearl which comes from a species of small oysters and are generally 6-7 cm in size. A white appearance with a rose hue is what distinguishes the Akoya; pearls larger than 10 cm are extremely rare and highly prized. If you are a follower of Hollywood celebrities, then you've seen various actresses such as Blythe Danner wearing Y Akoya pearl necklaces prominently adorned on their plunging necklines.

South Sea - From the Philippines to Indonesia and all way down to Australia, this is the area of the world where South Sea pearls are harvested. With a golden, silver, or pale look, South Sea pearls are slightly more costly than Akoya and larger too. In the Philippines as in Indonesia, South Sea pearls are hatchery bred while in Australia these pearls are usually found in the wild, averaging 13mm in size. Daryl Hannah and Jacqueline Bissett are just two of the many actresses who favor South Sea Drop Pearl Earrings when appearing in public.

Tahitian - The lagoons of French Polynesia are the popular breeding place for the oysters which produce Tahitian pearls. Averaging nearly 10mm in size, Tahitian pearls come in a variety of pretty colors including pistachio, peacock, and aubergine. Who can forget when that handsome star, George Clooney, donated several gifts including a Tahitian-pearl necklace to the United Way's auction benefiting Hurricane Katrina victims?

Freshwater - Unlike the three previously mentioned oyster-producing pearls, another mollusk - the mussel - is the maker of the freshwater pearl. China is the largest producer of freshwater pearls and the widespread availability of these pearls makes them the most affordable pearl of all. Colors vary widely, depending on the natural characteristics of the mussel and whether they were treated or irradiated to achieve the desired color. Marcia Cross, of Desperate Housewives fame, has been spotted wearing a gold charm necklace around Los Angeles that has tiny freshwater pearl accents at the clasp.

No, you don't have to be rich or famous to look the part of a Hollywood starlet as you have a wide selection of pearl jewelry options to consider for your private collection. Demi Moore may look fabulous with her South Sea pearl drop earrings, but so can you!