Officially the world gem, pearls have been revered since long before written history. Because of this, their discovery cannot be attributed to a person in particular, but it is believed that they had been discovered by people. We know they’ve been employed for millennia in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess which dates back to 420 BC, that is on display in the Louvre at Paris found thanks to a fragment of pearl jewellery.
Pearls were presented as gifts to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC, although at ancient Rome, pearl jewelry was considered the ultimate status symbol. So valuable were the gems that Julius Caesar passed the classes a law.
The abundance of natural oyster beds in the Persian Gulf meant that pearls also carried great importance in Arab civilizations, in which legend said that diamonds were made from dewdrops that were swallowed by oysters when they fell into the sea. Prior to the arrival of cultured pearls, the Persian Gulf was in the middle of the pearl trade and it turned into a source of wealth in the area long before the discovery of oil.
With this kind of a long and ancient tradition, it is no question that, over time, the pearl turned into shrouded in legend and myth. In ancient China, pearl jewellery was stated to symbolise the purity of the wearer while, in the Dark Ages, knights frequently wore pearls onto the battlefield. According to legend, a pearl smashed into a glass of wine to prove to Marc Antony she could give the most expensive dinner in history.
Pearls have been an important trade commodity since Roman times, and the discovery of pearls at Central and South America in the 15th and 16th century led to the so called Pearl Age. Together with the demand for pearls in Western Europe, where ladies of nobility and royalty wore earrings pearl bracelets, pearl bracelets and broochesneed for pearl jewellery became so high that oyster supplies started to dwindle.
Unlike diamonds which are mined from the earth, a living organism generates a pearl as well as in reality, their own presence is a freak of nature. A pearl is formed when an irritant, like a parasite or piece of shell, becomes accidentally lodged within an oyster’s soft inner body, causing it to secrete a crystalline substance called nacre, that builds around the irritant in layers before a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are formed via precisely the identical procedure, the difference being the dermis is planted rather.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the sole way of collecting pearls was through divers risking their lives at depths of around 100ft to retrieve the pearl oysters. It was one which carried prospect of success for just three or four quality pearls could toss up and also a dangerous pursuit. Freshwater molluscs living in flows and shallow rivers were simpler to collect, but these decoration beds were reserved for harvesting by royalty.
Today, natural pearls are among the most popular of gems and their almost entirely depleted supply means that they are located very infrequently only from the seas off Bahrain and Australia. The lack of natural pearls is reflected at the prices they bring with pearls and pearl bracelets selling for amounts.
Intense bidding wars also have erupted over high-quality all-natural pearl rings with the winning bids running into a few million dollars. Contrary to the gemstone that is senile, the creation of pure pearls is dependent on clean seas and stable temperatures, each of which are thrown into disarray by pollution and global warming. All pearl jewellery on the market now is made using pearls that farmed and have been cultivated.
The debut of pearls in the early 1900s caused the value of pearls and turned into the pearl industry. By 1935, there were 350 pearl farms in Japan, making 10 million cultured pearls per calendar year, though Mikimoto had to constantly defend himself from accusations that his pearls weren’t “actual”. The opposite was spoken to by the proof; the pearls that were Egyptian possess the same qualities as those formed in sea beds, the only difference was that they had a helping hand in getting the pure process.
Mikimoto’s Akoya pearls are still used today by the jewelry home that bears his name and so are famous for their brilliant lustre and rich colors, which vary from white, cream and pink, to dyed pink.
Pearls can be found, or cultivated, in saltwater or freshwater and there are several diverse types of pearls depending on what mollusc they originate from. Cultured freshwater pearls are produced in China as well as because of their prosperity, they are less expensive than their saltwater cousins. Saltwater pearls include Tahitian pearls, which originate from Tahiti and other islands as well as the aforementioned Akoya. South Sea pearls hail from Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The latter is the biggest of of the pearl kinds and come in cream, white or golden colors with dimensions. A Tahitian pearl is also referred to as a black pearl, although its colour spectrum also includes gray, blue, green and purple.Read more about Tahitian pearls.
Coloured pearls were popular with both people as far back as the 17th century and, in the past few years, these dark wonders of the sea have witnessed a revival, using a new generation of fashion-conscious consumers embracing jewelry featuring coloured pearls as an edgier alternative to the conventional white pearl necklace.
Baroque South Sea or Tahitian pearls are utilized in modern jewellery to great effect while perfectly round pearls have become the most coveted.
Strictly speaking, oysters simply produce pearls, however some gems that are made in other molluscs also qualify with this moniker. Included in these are incredibly uncommon, oval-shaped conch pearls and yellowish-orange Melo Melo pearls. Means of a substance composed of calcite forms all these non-nacreous pearls, and their beauty is not as spectacular, if they lack the iridescence of pearls.
As a result, conch pearls are incredibly beneficial and a gem could draw as much as US$120,000. Mikimoto recently launched a collection of conch pearl jewelry, as well as the pink pearls have also been integrated into stones by the likes of Boucheron jewelry and Tiffany & Co..
Additionally incredibly amazing and sought after are all abalone pearls, which are among the most popular in the world as they are not cultured and just discovered by chance in rocky, coastal waters.
Concerning their fashion money, pearls have had something of a rough journey, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century. In the 1920s, the fashion was reflected by pearl bracelets in the form of strands that were simple for unfussy designs. These necklaces would often measure more than 30 inches and be decorated with a tassel for a pendant. Society ladies shocked by blending the object with fakes and teaming her earrings. Largely because of her acceptance, costume jewelry became lots of and popular women wore imitation pearl jewellery made from Lucite or glass.
Inspired by Mademoiselle’s enthusiasm for the stone, in 2014 Chanel established a high jewellery collection devoted to the traditional pearl. The Perles Swing collection, composed of a pearl necklace, necklace and earrings, is also a straightforward but elegant 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 really consisted of fake gems made from glass rather than the actual thing. Audrey Hepburn’s title is interchangeable with pearls, make it a pair of pearl earrings or a necklace accentuating her gamine attributes.
Somewhere across the 1980s pearls acquired a reputation as the help of older women in twinsets with blue-rinse hairdos. A number of high jewellery houses prominently feature pearls within their jewellery collections and designers like Kova are also incorporating into jewellery designs them. Read on how to utilize pearls in 2016 here.
As with gemstones, the standard of a pearl is set by several criteria for the size, shape, colour and lustre. Because this decides not merely the pearl’s lustre but also how long it will last an important factor is the depth of the nacre. Contrary to the more robust diamond, pearls demand a little bit of TLC to guarantee they stay looking pristine. Pearl should be kept separately from diamonds to make sure the rock does not scratch at their surface. We would suggest putting pearl jewels before putting them. Acidic elements such as perfume and even perspiration can dull a pearl’s lustre, therefore never spray scent directly onto them and wipe the pearls. In the instance of pearl necklaces, it is a fantastic idea every five years, to take them to a jeweller to check whether they need re-stringing.
Traditionally, pearls were celebrated for their uniformity in size and color but now it seems that the more avant-garde, the more better. Pearls in vibrant colors and unusual shapes have been integrated into unique jewels by jewellers renowned for their creativity, like Boghossian and Hemmerle, while YOKO London provides an incredibly extensive palette of coloured pearls so vibrant it is difficult to believe they were shaped naturally – far removed from the classic discreet white pearl studs gracing the ear lobes of women who lunch.