Gemstone of the Month: Pearls

June 08, 2016 Allison Bray

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Pearls are unusual gems in that they aren’t found in rock. Instead, pearls are beautiful hard objects that develop within the shells of living shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels. The most valuable pearls are a pinky white colour and are perfectly round. However, pearls can form in all sorts of shapes and colours, though most of these don’t make it into jewellery!

Generally speaking, the pearls we wear as jewellery fall into two camps: natural pearls and cultured pearls. Natural pearls occur independently in the wild. They are extremely rare which makes them very valuable. Most of the pearls we see today are cultured pearls. These are grown by transplanting tiny pieces of natural pearl tissue into shells in order to encourage them to form into full pearls.

These gems have been so prized over the centuries that the word ‘pearl’ has become synonymous with anything rare, valuable or particularly fine. 

Worn best with… 

Historically, pearls have been something of a status symbol. Play this up by pairing your pearls with silver, diamonds and a little black dress a la Audrey Hepburn. Alternatively, dress them down with a fitted white shirt and dark blue jeans for classic understated glamour.

Best suited to… 

Pearls are often said to really come into their own for special occasions. They’re excellent as evening wear and go perfectly with the formal attire worn for opening nights, weddings and christenings. Want to show off your lustrous pearls at other occasions too? Don’t let us stop you: we think they look fantastic with just about anything!

Famous Pearls… 

The Pearl of Lao Tzo is purportedly the largest natural pearl in existence. It was discovered in waters just off the Philippines in the 1930s and weighs over fourteen pounds. The pearl isn’t considered particularly attractive as it’s not perfectly spherical and doesn’t shine as much as most… but it’s still valued at around $3.5 million!

The Baroda Pearl Necklace is strung with sixty eight pearls, all of which originated from an original much older and larger necklace that was once owned by the Maharajas of India. The pearls are arranged across two strands and are all fairly large. The necklace was sold in 2007 for $7.1million.

The Beauty of the Ocean pearl is the largest cultured pearl in the world. In fact, it stands five feet high and weighs over six tonnes! The pearl is green fluorite and has been known to glow in the dark. It has been valued at $139million. 

More inspiration… 

Pink Classic Pearl Drops, Peacock Baroque Pearl Studs, Silver Wire Pearl with Ball Necklace , Classic White Snakeskin Heart Pearl Bracelet, Hear Multi Pearl Necklace and Silver Flower with Pearl Necklace.

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