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Pearl

Pearls are organic gems. Pearls are formed in shellfish especially oyesters. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for just one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance. Pearls vary in color from white, to pinkish white, brown and black depending upon the type of water. They are sensitive to acids, dryness and humidity and so are less durable. The quality of pearls is judged by the orient, which is the soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre, and lustre, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Fine pearls do not have any flaws or spots in the nacre:it has an even, smooth texture. Other factors which affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and colour: rose tints are the most favoured. Cultured and natural pearls can be distinguished from imitation ones by a very simple test. Take the pearl and rub it (gently!) against the edge of a tooth.

Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is moulded or painted on a smooth bead. Natural pearls have been harvested from Persian gulf and Red sea for thousands of years. Today pearls are cultured by Man. Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are later harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre. Most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured in mussels, mostly in China. Pearls were once thought to be the tears of the gods.

Myths on Pearl >>

Natural Gemstones

 

 


 

   
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