June Birthstone – Pearls

 

Pearls have long been considered the most stunning product of nature, but cannot be called a precious stone as they have their origins in living organisms. History recounts many stories of man’s fascination with Pearls. The most famous one is about Cleopatra and Marc Antony.

Irene Sharaff dressing Elizabeth Taylor for “Cleopatra”, 1961.

 

 

The Queen of Egypt wagered with Marc Antony that she could give the most extravagent and expensive banquet in history. While reclining at dinner, Marc Antony saw Cleopatra crush one of her Pearl earrings, drop the crushed pearl remains into her wine glass, and drink it down! She then offered to crush theother Pearl for Marc Antony to drink, an act which he declined to participate. The pair of Pearls had been a gift from Kings of the Orient, where Pearls were highly valued. Pearls were very precious to the Romans, but Cleopatra did not hold them in such esteem. She felt no loss at the display of extravagance for her dinner partner.

 

 

Akoya Double Strand with Diamond Roundel Mystery Clasps, 9-9.5mm, 39″ total.

Pearls come from the sea – salt or freshwater. Where are pearls found? Akoya (saltwater) pearls are found in Japan and China. They are round and can be sized from 2mm – 10mm and are usually white or creme in color. South Sea Pearls are found in Australia, Indonesia, and the Phillipines. They range in size from 9mm – 20mm. Their colors are white, creme, or golden.

 

 

 

 

Multi-Color Tahitian Pearls, with 14K white gold clasp, 10.5-12mm, 19″.

 

 

 

Tahitian Pearls are not found exclusively in waters off Tahiti. They can be found in waters around the islands of French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti. The natural colors of Tahitian Pearls range in over 100 colors and are called black pearls. The actual colors may range in shades of gray, blue, green, and purple or aubergine. Tiffany had exclusive rights to the Tahitian Pearls for many years, but now they are available for everyone.

Extremely Lustrous freeform Chinese Freshwater Pearls on 18K Gold wire and Gold cap accents.

Freshwater Pearls are typically found in mollusks known as mussels and can come from any freshwater source like rivers, lakes or ponds. Russian, European and North American rivers and lakes have all produced pearls throughout history. In fact, natural freshwater pearls have been found in almost every country. At the present time, most freshwater pearls are cultured, and the overwhelming majority of cultured freshwater pearls come from China.

Almost all pearls are cultured, or farmed. Akoya pearls are created by nucleating (inserting) two round Mississippi Muscle Shell beads, otherwise known as Mother of Pearl. The size of the bead dictates the size of the pearl. Saltwater Pearls have less than 1mm of depth of the covering called nacre, the shiny reflective outside of a Pearl. Freshwater Pearls have a much deeper covering of nacre than Akoya, Tahitian or South Sea Pearls. Freshwater Pearls can be nucleated with slivers of mantle tissue, shapes, or round tiny beads.

SANDY’S PICK 

The pick of the week is this fabulous Natural Pink Chinese Freshwater Pearl Necklace, 11-12mm, 18K White and Yellow Gold and Diamond Ball Clasp.

11-12mm Natural Chinese Freshwater Pearls

Oh my Goodness! Two PINK Freshwater Pearl Necklaces in a row!!!!! I LOVE Pink Pearls and believe they look well on everyone regardless of skin tone or hair color. These perfect round pearls make me drool with desire. Information can be found in the PearlWorks by Sandy Jones Collection. Just click on Collections on the Menu above and you will be able to see more details about this luscious necklace.

READER’S WEEKLY QUESTION

This week’s question is:

Have you ever worn pearls that are different colors other than white?