Pearl of the Orient
Pearl Tiara of Empress Eugenie (1853)
Pearls had always fascinated me. I had often wondered why rich people can buy the real ones and we only get pearls covered in plastic. It made me wonder how it came from clams (mollusks) and how could it have been formed. Clams had been with us for millions of years now. It is possible that they had been making pearls that long. I also learned that peals can come from caves but it will take a lot of years before they are formed. And its fascinating to know that they are actually cultivating pearls in pearl farms around the world. Japan is cultivating square pearls as well. Something that cannot be done with diamonds.
In October 15th, 1996, Pres. Fidel V. Ramos of the Philippines declared Philippine
Pearl, internationally known as South Sea Pearl, as the National Gem. It is to
promote the rich and historical and cultural heritage of the country that produced the
world's largest pearl, known as the "Pearl of Allah" or as the "Pearl of Lao Tze".
According to ncca.gov.ph.
Pearls have to be taken cared for delicately since it could have wear and tear. It is recommended that they will not be scratched so that they can last a lifetime.
Pearl are known to have come from a grain of sand. However, its not true. An irritant enters the soft part of the shell of clams and when it gets lodge inside, clams will produce nacre to cover it. Inorder to protect itself from intruders. The same concept that cultivators of pearls do. They insert a tissue, called the mother of pearl, inside a clam and wait for 3-5 years before it can be harvested.
Pearls with the perfect of near perfect round shape get the highest value. However, pearls have the characteristic of being irregular round for the most part.
Watch how pearls are formed Naturally
Kinds of Pearls
Certain Kind of clams produce different colors of Pearls. Clams can be saltwater or freshwater, they produce different colors for the Pearls. Colors vary from white to black, from yellow to brown, and pink to purple.
Most of the pearls have irregular shape or baroque shape. Pearls that are bigger than 7mm and perfect rounds are the most expensive.
Liking Pearls is great, wearing one is even better. The kind of pearl worn is dependent on the wearer and on her preference. Since Pearls who have perfect round shapes are expensive or fake, it is better to look for baroque and unique style of pearls.
Pearls lined inside a clam
The Story of the South Sea Pearl
How are Pearl Farming being Conducted
Pearl farming are conducted world wide. Some of the videos below will inform you on how they do it in their country. They basically do the same way of propagating Pearls, however, they have different goals. They culture different kinds of clams to get different kinds and colors of Pearls. The biggest Pearls are expensive and the lowest quality are being used for make up powders.
The history of Pearl Cultivation, Mexico
Pearl Farming (Periculture), Japan
Standards of Pearl Quality
It is important for the consumer to determine a good quality pearl to an inferior one. Consumers can use similart standards eimployed by industry experts in order to distinguish high quality to poor quality pearls.
The combination of bright surface shine and a deep 3 dimensional glow that seems to emanate from within the heart of a cultured pearl. This soft glowing sheen is what make it so unique from other gems. Thicker coating of nacker in pearls make it last for generations. Cultured pearls with thcik nacker can reflect objects close to them.
Surface refers to outer completion of the pearl. Few pearls are perfectly flawless. Even high value pearls have spotting or blemeshes. Naturally, fewer blemeshes, the more valuable the pearl. Often pearls with high quality luster can mask small surface imperfection.
Cultured pearls range from round to irregular shaped, termed baroque. The rounder, the more valuable it would be.
Akoya Pearls (refers to pearls gathered from Salt water clams in Japan) have Rose red, silver white, cream, gold, and blue gray. The best way to choose color is to determine which hue goes with the completion of the wearer. Classic color would always be white.
Size will determine price. It is difficult for a cultured pearl to grow a high quality large pearl. 7mm and larger will always command premium prices.
A strand of pearl should be well matched: close to each other in terms of size, shape, and color.
Evaluating Pearl Quality
7 Signs you have Fake Pearls
The video states that there are 7 signs your pears are fake. And here they are:
- Real Pearls have ridges and can be seen under a magnifying glass. Fake Pearls are all identical and have smooth surfaces.
- Check on the overtone color: real ones are beautiful and lustrous; fake ones are dull.
- Check if reflective: real ones held against the light give a reflection of the light; fake ones are dull and no reflection.
- Check size: real ones on a strand of thread have different sizes and texture; fake ones have exactly identical, same, size.
- Check the temperature: real ones are cold to the touch and warm to body temperature when worn; fake ones remain at room temperature even to the touch.
- Real ones are heavier to the hand and fake ones are just light.
- When run along the teeth: real ones are gritty; fake ones are smooth.
Identifying Fake Pears
Quotations for Women
Aside from the information on how to identify fake pearls, another video differentiate real from fake.
Rub the pearls together. You can feel the gritting with the real one. At the same time, we can get pearl powder. The pearl powder are the ones you see on make up kits. The fake one, the other one, is very smooth, slippery, and sometimes plastic. Have no gritty feel and no pearl powder.