Pearls are one of our greatest, most passionate loves here at Quenan’s Fine Jewelers. Their hypnotizing presence casts a spell over any outfit, formal, casual, or otherwise.
Behind the enviable pearl is, of course, plenty of history – the ancient Greeks happened to be quite fond of them. Artisans in Asia developed their own techniques for raising pearls to be traded in commerce, and the world has been enjoying them in their wardrobes ever since.
Types of Pearls
While it may be tempting to romanticize all pearls as being harvested from the ocean en masse, the fact of the matter is that most are farmed by firms for public consumption. The most commonly produced pearls are as follows:
These saltwater pearls are the soft, round, and fair ones we all know and love. They come primarily from China and Japan, with China specializing in the category of smaller, more delicate pearls.
This variety is usually grown in an artificial context and thus is much more affordable due to the fact that they can be produced in this way at scale. Although the majority hails from China and other areas of the Far East, a small percentage are in fact raised domestically in the United States (in Mississippi, specifically).
Pearls from the South Sea
At the height of opulence and prestige are south sea pearls, prized for their extravagant size and lustrous finish, most commonly white and gold. South sea pearls originate in places like the Philippines and Western Australia and will be found in the Pinctada Maxima, also known as the gold-lipped oyster.
Lastly, and most distinctively, Tahitian pearls are well known for their uniquely iridescent appearance – layered shades of deep green, purple, cherry, and chocolate characterize these beauties, giving them a unique mystique that goes beyond comparison. The culture of obtaining the pearls from the oysters used involves initiating the process of pearl formation, collecting the gems, and releasing the specimen back into the wild afterward, making most Tahitian pearls an ethical and ecologically conscientious choice when looking to buy something fabulous without compromising on moral values.
A Pearl Education in Maintenance
Unlike other gemstones that begin their journeys as geodes and raw crystals unearthed from the land, pearls are created as a natural consequence of an oyster’s instinctive reaction to an irritant in its sensitive inner workings. It covers the speck in layer after layer of something called “nacre”. These deposits build up until a smooth pearl is formed.
As such, extra care must be taken to prevent these delicate layers from becoming scratched or wearing away over time. Storing pearl jewelry separately from other pieces is highly recommended, as cathedral settings and errant prongs are more than capable of damaging your pearl jewelry. It is also important to maintain a humid environment by way of the inclusion of a damp cloth or cotton ball in your jewelry box – for pearls, a velvet-lined box is best.
Shop Pearls and Fine Pearl Jewelry Today at Quenan’s Jewelers
There is no better time to supplement your collection with a new pearl necklace, a fresh pearl bracelet, or perhaps a new pair of pearl earrings than springtime – as dedicated disciples worshipping at the altar of Mastoloni, the brand is certainly one of our go-tos when it comes to pearls in any type of jewelry.
To learn more about our offerings in pearls or to further your pearl education with the help of our expert team, shoot us a message via our website.