Pearls are considered to be the mother of jewels and have been loved for centuries. Pearls have a long history dating back to Cleopatra drinking dissolved pearls to the Queen of England fashioning it on their tiara.
Interestingly, the formation of pearls are extremely unique and unlike any other jewel in the world. Pearls are created in two distinct methods, either natural or cultured, yet most pearls that can be found on the market today are cultured pearls. In the 19th century, pearl cultivation was created by Mikimoto in which a nucleus was manually inserted into the pearl shell. A nucleus is generally a grinded up shell made round. On the other hand, natural pearls are created when a foreign substance such as a pebble, sand, or ocean insects, etc. enters the shell’s body.
The difference between the two is wether a foreign substance was manually seeded through human involvement into the shell or naturally seeded. After the cultivation process of seeding is finished, the shells are selectively put in the ocean or freshwater inside a carefully crated cage. Due to the nuclear that is put inside, the shell is then aggravated and starts to secrete layers over the nuclear producing a pearl. This process generally takes anywhere from one year to three depending on the type, size, and quality of pearl. Overtime, the shell coats the pearl with layer after layer creating a larger size and producing a better luster. However, constant monitoring of the shell is required as a slight change in the shell’s wellbeing or position can cause the distortion of the pearl’s shape, luster, and spots. Due to this, the shells are constantly taken out of the ocean to be cleaned, observed, and adjusted.
Pearls come in many different shapes with a perfectly round pearl being the most rare and valuable. However, as as round pearls are extremely rare, the different shapes possible are drop, button, baroque, and circle. Each pearl has its own unique characteristic so each individual may favorite some over the other regardless of price as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Pearl Luster & Coating
The amount of coating on a pearl determines a wide range of characteristics. A shell produces a thicker coating based on the length it is submerged in the ocean. A thick coating on the pearl allows for a higher shine (luster) and gives it a deeper color and a beautiful hue. The higher luster and deep color creates an enchanting look defining a high quality pearl.