June 29, 2006


Pearls are amongst the oldest and most universal of all gems and the only gem made by a living animal, the pearl oyster. Throughout history, the pearl, with its warm inner glow and shimmering iridescence, has been one of the most prized and sought-after gems. Pearls have been considered ideal wedding gifts because they symbolize purity and innocence.

How to distinguish between a genuine pearl and a fake one?Buying pearls is not at all that simple. To find out whether they are real, pearls should be rubbed gently against the edge of one’s teeth. A grainy, rough sensation indicates that the pearls are genuine while fake ones would feel smooth and glassy.
Natural pearls, cultured pearls and imitation pearls Cultured pearls share the same properties as natural pearls and are grown by live oysters. The only difference is that in a cultured pearl a foreign body is artificially implanted in the shell of the oyster. In case of imitation pearls, a glass bead is dipped into a solution made of fish scales. This coating is thin and will eventually wear off.
Check out for their color in daylight
Pearls should also be checked for their color and luster in daylight, otherwise several pearls should be compared under the same light. The sheen of the nacreous layers is the essence of the gem. The thicker the layers, the deeper and mellower will be the iridescence and the air of dignity. To check the beauty of a pearl string, put it on the back of your palm. That is how the professionals see it.
Colored pearls
Colored pearls are rare. They come in yellow, pink, silver and blue tints. The so-called ‘black pearls’ are only dark grey in reality. They are too scarce and most expensive, being cultivated mostly in Japan. Often inferior pearls are colored chemically to fetch better prices but the hues are not permanent.
How are pearls priced?Pearls are priced according to their radiance, shape, size and their weight. Large, round, shiny pearls are the costliest.
Pearls for a necklace
For a necklace, it would be economical and attractive to select round, radiant pearls of gradually increasing size, keeping the largest one in the centre of the string. The pearls strung on silk or nylon threads last longer than those strung on gold or silver wires, because the gold and silver strings tend to give way at the holes.
Pearls for pendants, earrings, brooches etc.
The half-sphere “button” pearls, pear-shaped, egg-shaped, blister and the “teardrops” are suitable for pendants, earrings, brooches and buttons. Baroque pearls, irregular shaped pearls, which do not fall into any other category are used in rings and pendants because of their unique flowing form.
Pearls - tiny and modestly priced
Modestly priced are the tapered “rice” pearls and the tiny “flower” pearls of uneven shape which look very appealing when strung in several strands or cluster.
Pearls-classy and fashionable
Pearls of all shapes and colors are a highly, versatile accessory for a modern woman’s wardrobe. Pearls look very classy and chic with all kinds of dresses. The classic, round pearl necklace is perfect for evening wear or suit dressing. Pearls may be used with beads of other precious gems for a striking effect. You may also experiment with different colors of pearls.
Pearls – care for themPearls need special care. Do not keep them with other gems or jewelry. Store them separately in a pouch and place a few pepper corns along with your pearls to keep the moisture away. Pearls in the necklace come in contact with the skin, the sweat, grime and the acidic content of the skin over time may slowly damage the pearls making them lose their luster and shape. That’s why pearls should be wiped with a soft cloth after wearing them. Chemicals like perfume, vinegar and lemon juice and dry air can also damage pearls.

See also: Care of your jewelry / The magnificent Mehandi

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  1. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Useful information about pearls. Nice oost.

  2. Anonymous12:13 PM

    The quality - and thus, the value - of a pearl is measured according to a combination of several different factors: the type of pearl, the thickness of its nacre, its luster, the cleanliness and texture of its surface, its shape, its color, and its size.

    Pearls are one of the few organic gemstones. It is the only gemstone that has been grown inside a living organism. A pearl is a unique gemstone because in its natural state--without any polishing, cutting or other manipulation--it shows it full beauty, gloss and luster.

    You will find certain surface abberations on any pearl because it is an organic thing. A strand of finely matched, unblemished cultured pearls would run you in the thousands of dollars.

    Luckily, the production of freshwater pearls has greatly improved and expanded--we are now able to find affordable pearls in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors

  3. Pradeep8:36 AM

    After wearing, wipe with a soft water-moistened cloth to remove residue.
    If you are wearing them several times a week, once a year moisten a soft clean cloth in a solution of one part mild dish washing liquid to 20 parts lukewarm water, and rub each pearl individually.
    Wipe off with a damp, clean cloth and buff dry. Let the pearls air dry overnight.
    In storing it should be stored separately to avoid scratches.
    Don�t put them in a plastic bag. Pearls need air to maintain it luster.
    Use a chamois clothe, satin bag or wrap in tissue.

  4. Sulochana9:20 AM

    the key to it is to try not to use anything abrasive on them. Simple soft hand soap and water is most likely the best.

  5. Lakshmi10:38 AM

    To check if a pearl is real, you rub it against your teeth, and if it feels gritty its real, if its smooth then its fake!.

  6. unknown10:40 AM

    A pearl is formed when a foreign object like a piece of sand gets into the shell. The oyster coats that object so it is smooth and does not cause harm to the animal. Layers and layers of this coating forms pearls. Not all pearls are round, some are oblong, bumpy, flat, or many other shapes. The majority of pearls you see in jewelry stores have been cultured (the oyster has been "seeded" with a foreign object instead of it naturally happening), which makes the pearls more sphere-shaped.

  7. unknown9:13 AM

    "Every Memory is just a pearl on the necklace of life"

  8. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Why is it that men can be b.a.s.t.a.r.d.s. and woman must wear pearls and smile' -Lynn Hecht Schafren

  9. UNKNOWN9:35 AM

    The occurrence of valuable pearls in the wild is very rare. Cultured or farmed pearls make up the majority of those that are currently sold. Pearls from the sea are valued more highly than freshwater pearls

  10. Jyoti3:58 PM

    Thank you for letting me know all about pearls.

  11. Anonymous4:02 PM

    The value of the pearls in jewelery is determined by a combination of parameters like the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry. According to jewelers, the most important differentiates is the luster.


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