Black Pearl Earrings
Natural pearls are not only considered precious jewels, but ones possessing high quality are rare indeed. Although pearls come in a variety of colors, black pearls are not only exquisitely beautiful, but one of the rarest of these gems. In fact, the only authentically black colored pearls in nature come from Tahiti (and some other Pacific Islands.
Prior to the creation of culturing pearls, black pearls were considered much more valuable than Chinese and Japanese akoya pearls, although not more than South Sea pearls, which are harder to come by because they involve deep sea diving to harvest them.
Still, cultured specimens created from the black pearl oyster (pinctada
margaritifera) are still unavailable in large quanties. Worldwide
regulations forbid mass production, adding to their monetary as well as
esthetic value, both as loose gems as well as in fine jewerly such as
black pearl earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and so forth.
Like all varieties, however, the actual worth of each specific pearl
used to make jewelry is decided by l additional factors such as its
size and luster (the most important quality to jewelers), symmetry, and
flawlessness. Large pearls that are perfectly round in shape are
particulary rare and thus of higher value than pear-shaped or teardrop
shaped ones used most often for earrings as well as pendants.
Necklaces and earrings are also often graded by the color of their pearls. While white and black saltwater pearls have the largest consumer appeal, other colors found in ocean pearls include champagne, green, pink, black and even purple and blue. However, finding enough of each that match in both size and hue to make a full string necklace can take a very long time to collect.
South Sea pearls from Pinctada maxima oysters can also be found in pink, white, cream silver and gold tones as well as rainbowed overtones of each shade.Yellow gems known as Margarita pearls are extremely rare. In fact, one of the most famous necklaces ever created from them was given to Jacqueline Kennedy by former Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt during a state visit back in the 1960’s.
Other basic pearl shapes include semi-round (often used in pieces of
jewelry where they can be disguised to appear perfectly round), oval,
button (slightly flattened), circled (having rings around their bodies)
and baroque. Baroque pearls are mostly irregularly shaped gems which
given them a special appeal.
The cultured pearls sold today come in two different categories. Black pearls, as well as South Sea and Akoya cultured varieties are usually grown one at a time, and are generally harvested anywhere from two to seven years adding to their rarity. The other type is where the pearls develop in the mantle of the shell from anywhere up to twenty-five seed grafts of Biwa pearls imbedded at a time, making for an abundant market supply. The quality of these has also grearly improved during the past decade succeeding in developing nearly round pearls as compared to more rice shaped “pebbles” of the past.
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