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  • pearls

Real pearls are examples of nature’s beautiful magic. They are formed when a mollusk (oyster, clam, mussel) has an irritant enter its shell; in defense, the mollusk produces layers of fluid (as nacre, pronounced NAY-kur) around the irritant. The process takes between 5-10 years.


Types of Pearls
  • Natural: Formed organically in nature.
  • Cultured: Formed in the same way as natural pearls. An irritant is surgically placed into the mollusk and protected in "pearl farms" while the pearl develops. They are considered real pearls.
  • Imitation: Have no connection to the natural pearl making process; made from glass beads that are dipped into a solution made from fish scales.
v-earrings pendant bracelet 14kw-ring rose$gold
How to Tell Real Pearls from Imitation:  Professional jewelers can spot an imitation pearl from cultured pearls and will not sell you imitation marked as real.  To test a pearl as imitation is to rub it against another pearl; imitation pearls glide across each other but cultured pearls feel gritty because of the layers of nacre.

Many cultured pearls are treated to enhance their luster or alter their color.  This does not make them any less real.  Our professional jewelers, members of Jewelers of America, are trained to understand and explain these treatments to you.

Pearl Quality Factors:  Pearls are classified by origin and graded by size, shape, nacre thickness, color, luster, surface clarity and how they match.

Lustre:  The combination of surface brilliance and a deep-seated glow, the luster of a good-quality cultured pearl should be bright, not dull.  Your reflection should be seen clearly on the surface of a cultured pearl.  Any pearl that looks too chalky or dull indicates low quality.

Shape:  Cultured pearls are grown by oysters and subject to the whims of Mother Nature.  It is very rare to find a perfectly round cultured pearl, which is considered most valuable.  Many prefer the perfect spheres of classic baroque pearl jewelry with an irregular shape commonly seen in fine jewelry.  Freshwater pearls from lakes and rivers are usually baroque.

Size:  Measured by their diameter, the average cultured pearls sold today are between 7 and 7-1/2 millimeters.  The larger the pearl, the more valuable it will be.

Surface:  Cleanliness of the cultured pearl surface refers to the absence of disfiguring spots, bumps or cracks.

Color:  Rose Silver/White Cream Gold Blue/Gray cultured pearls occur in colors from rosé to black.  While color is a matter of preference, rosé or silver/white pearls tend to look best on fair skin tones, while cream and gold-tone cultured pearls are flattering to darker complexions.

Quality Pearl Strands:  Pearls should not bunch or twist.  Knots should be shaped uniformly and pushed snugly against both sides of every pearl.  Silk cord should match the pearl color as closely as possible

Our professional staff can inspect, clean and restring your pearls.  Contact us.
 
Download:  Pearls Caring & Cleaning 
 

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