Did you Know...
Happy Birthday June Babies! Pearls are your birthstone!
Pearls of all kinds are probably my favorite because of the luster and variety of colors – so beautiful.
Here are some interesting facts… Ready? Lots of info here!
Pearls, both natural & cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces a layer of nacre around some type of irritant inside its shell. In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water. In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead is inserted (by us) into the mollusk to start the process.
Cultured pearls are grown in pearl farms. The mollusks are raised until they are old enough to accept the mother-of-pearl bead nucleus. Through a delicate surgical procedure, the technician implants the bead and then the mollusks are returned to the water and cared for while the pearl forms. Not all produce a pearl and it can take up to sorting 10,000 pearls to make a 16” necklace.
- Akoya cultured pearls from Japanese & Chinese waters. They are typically 2mm – 10mm and colors are white or cream.
- South Sea Pearls – the largest of all the pearls, range in size from 9mm – 20mm and can be white, cream or golden in color.
- Tahitian Pearls (also called Black Pearls) are not just from Tahiti – they’re grown in several islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti. They range in size from 8mm – 16mm and their beautiful colors range from gray, blue, green and even purple.
These pearls are grown in freshwater lakes, rivers mostly in China. Many white pearls resemble akoya cultured pearls in shape and size, they can be produced in various shapes and in an array of pastel colors.
Most freshwater pearls are nucleated with tissue, but Edison cultured pearls are nucleated with beads, like saltwater pearls, enabling them to have their virtually perfect round shape. The beads are implanted into the mussels, with a special technique - which is a highly guarded secret.
The mussels are then cultivated in a natural-flowing, mineral-rich aquatic environment for more than three years, which results in a spectrum of beautiful colors. Their colors range from off-white, pink, peach, plum, gold and lavender.
Care & Cleaning
- After wearing, wipe your pearls with a soft cloth. This will help prevent any buildup of oils or other substances that may have come in contact with your jewelry throughout the day.
- Clean with a damp cloth only as needed. If your pearls are visibly stained, you can mix a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap, dip a soft cleaning cloth in it and wipe the pearls. If your pearls are strung with silk thread, do NOT submerge a pearl necklace in water, as it will weaken the silk thread.
- Let them dry all the way before storing. This helps preserve the elasticity of the silk strand.
- Never clean pearls with a steam or ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Both of these methods are likely to damage the outer layer of the pearl.