With June comes the spotlight on Pearls! For hundreds of years pearls have been a cherished gemstone most commonly worn in a strand, varying in lengths. In Ancient Rome pearls were considered to be a sign of great wealth and nobility, this was believed true by The Greeks as well. Some European Countries even had laws stating that anyone who was not of noble or royal standing could not wear pearls, this made pearls very popular among The Royals. Because of their history pearls are still seen as classic, traditional and very elegant but we now have the pleasure of wearing pearls no matter your social standing!
Gems of The Sea
Pearls are formed in the shell of a mollusk making them the only gemstone created by a living thing.
Pearls can be found in both fresh and saltwater. Saltwater pearls are formed in oysters and most commonly known as Akoya Pearls which are found in Japan, China and Vietnam. Akoya Pearls are known for their supreme luster and perfectly round shape, this makes them the more desired variety of pearl.
Freshwater pearls are usually found in mussels and can be found in a wider variety of shapes such as oval, round etc. Freshwater pearls are often less expensive than saltwater pearls because mussels can produce more pearls than an oyster making the harvest of Freshwater Pearls much larger.
Although white is the most common and most desired colour of pearl, they can actually come in a range of colours from white to gold to purple and black. The colour comes from the shell it is formed in, the colour on the inside of the shell determines the colour the pearl will be.
Did You Know?
As stated earlier, years ago pearls were strictly seen as jewellery for those with great wealth and a high social standing. This, along with the fact that natural pearls were a rare find, made them extremely valuable. So much so that the famous jeweller Jacques Cartier purchased the mansion for his first Cartier store on 5th Avenue in New York City with a double strand pearl necklace. The necklace had a value of $1.2 Million!
The earliest known piece of pearl jewellery found dates back to 520 BC.
Pearl necklace lengths have their own names for each different length. The names include: Collar, Choker, Princess, Matinee, Opera and Rope.
Every pearl is unique and no two pearls are alike, it is extremely rare (almost impossible) to find a pearl with no imperfections.
Pearls have been around for more than 4000 years and although early jewellery trends mostly consisted of pearls being designed like a strand necklace you can now find pearl jewellery in a wide variety of styles and often mixed with other colourful gemstones.
Pearls continued to be a staple in our jewellery boxes and will most likely never go out of style which is what makes them so unique and special from other gemstones!
Discover pearl jewellery in store at Silveri Jewellers or online at silverijewellers.ca/jewellery