When you gift someone a piece of jewellery it shows that they are important to you. The right piece can inspire someone, boost their confidence, and it will last a lifetime.
However, there are many things to consider when choosing jewellery, specifically, which stones to go for. One option that is highly unlikely to be regretted is pearl jewellery.
Here’s what you need to know when choosing pearl jewellery.
The Types Of Pearl
Whether you’re looking for a dreamy pearl heart necklace or a bracelet, you’re going to want to know what the different types of pearls are.
To fully understand this, it is important to discover how pearls are made by nature. They are formed inside oysters and other molluscs. In fact, the creation of a pearl is a response to the oyster being invaded. When something, even as small as a grain of sand, enters the oyster, it irritates the soft inside.
The oyster responds by releasing nacre to cover the invading article and protect itself. This white liquid coats the irritant and hardens while the oyster rolls it around, ensuring all sides are coated. The longer the irritant is in the oyster the larger the coating gets. That is your pearl.
Pearls are formed naturally as they are invaded in the wild. The colour, shape, and size of the pearl are directly related to the oyster. This can be influenced by many factors, including the seawater around them, how long the pearl is inside them, and even the colour of their nacre.
Natural pearls have always been a rare find. That’s why they have historically been associated with nobility and members of the ruling class.
But, humans have boosted the production process by creating large farms full of oysters. The farmer can remove an oyster, ease it open and introduce one grain of sand before letting it close and putting it back into their farm water.
The pearls are formed in the same way as natural ones, humans just help more to be produced. It has led to distinctive classes of pearl:
- Akoya Pearl – creamy white pearls
- Freshwater – pale pinks and lavenders
- Baroque – typically odd shapes
- South Sea – silky white or silver and some even look golden
- Tahitian – black pearls
How To Assess Pearl Jewellery Quality
To verify the quality of a pearl you’ll want to look at its size, colour, and what type it is. It’s generally agreed that the Akoya pearl is the benchmark for luxurious white pearls. They are generally sized between 2-9mm, anything larger than this is extremely rare and valuable. However, South Sea pearls are also highly sought after.
There is no right or wrong choice regarding the colour as it is a personal decision. The key thing when assessing the quality of pearl jewellery is to make sure the pearl is genuine.
Funnily, the best way to do this is to rub the pearl against your teeth. It should feel gritty, a smooth finish suggests a fake pearl.
The price of a pearl ranges considerably, depending on whether you want a necklace made entirely of pearls or a single pearl. All you have to do is decide how much you would like to spend on pearl jewellery and then choose your favourite piece.