Is it just me, or is there an allure about simple white pearls that makes every woman desire them in some style of jewelry? I know I do! Pearl stud earrings, a knotted pearl necklace (choker or long length), a simple pearl pendant, I love them. They aren’t even my birthstone!
Before I get carried away, let me formally introduce you to this month’s (June) birthstone, the pearl. Pearls are produced within the soft tissue (mantle) of shelled mollusks (a type of marine invertebrate animal such as oysters). They are formed when an irritant, often organic material or parasites, gets into the mantle and the mollusk produces a substance called nacre to cover the irritant. The nacre builds up and becomes a pearl.
Most pearls in the jewelry I create are cultured freshwater pearls verses naturally created pearls. These pearls are created by human intervening and placing an irritant inside the mollusk to force it to create a pearl. The majority of pearls come from China and Japan. There are some pearls produced in the United States as well.
Cultured pearls are less valuable than natural pearls and should not be considered natural pearls. However, they are much more common than natural pearls, so they are not completely discounted.
Although it is unknown how far back pearls were collected, it is believed that pearls in jewelry date back to the fifth century B.C. From that time until the development of cultured pearls, pearls were reserved for the wealthy because the only pearls available were natural pearls and they were very rare and expensive.
All jewelry should be treated with respected and gentleness, but pearls should be especially taken care of. While pearls are a solid material, they are very soft. They can chip and crack easily if they are not handled with care. It is not recommended to wear pearl jewelry in layers because the jewelry pieces can rub together which can cause the pearls to become scratched. Pearls should also not be exposed to chemicals such as jewelry cleaners because it can ruin their finish. I have read several places that it is recommended to store your pearl jewelry wrapped in a soft cloth.
Below are two photos of a pair of pearl earrings I made recently. I absolutely love these earrings for their simplicity but also for their modern flair. I think they can literally be worn with any outfit (okay, maybe not if you are going to explore abandoned buildings or in the woods). I think I might have to make a pair of these for myself!
What do you think about pearls? Am I right with my assumption that most women desire pearl jewelry in some style? Is there a style of pearl jewelry you really find beautiful?
Thanks for reading!