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freshwater pearl necklaces - their history and variety

Feb 29, 2008
Typically, freshwater pearl necklaces can range in size from 6 to 11 mm. They also come in a variety of colors, such as pink, white, rose, black, lavender, off white, cream, silver, bronze, and gray.

They have very good quality, and due to the large scale production of cultured freshwater pearls, the costs of necklaces and other pearl jewelry has turn out to be much more affordable than previously.

Freshwater pearls are a form of cultured pearls that are derived from freshwater mussels. They are available in numerous shapes including rice shapes, flat flakes, round, and button. They are noted for having great quality and shine.

As implied by the name, freshwater pearls are obtained from fresh waters, whereas saltwater pearls are obtained from salt water sources. The shiny substance which lines the cells of numerous mollusks, is a concretion which actually forms the pearls. This substance is called nacre, or mother-of-pearl.

Nacre is composed of a form of calcium carbonate, and this is deposited in layers which are interspersed with organic material. The iridescence and the luster of mother-of-pearl is caused by a diffraction of light through these layers.

At the moment, China is the foremost commercial manufacturer of freshwater pearls. Other countries, such as Japan and the U.S. also produce them on a limited scale.

Since the time of the discovery of the New World up through the nineteenth century, the U.S. was also a main source for natural freshwater pearls but then the excessive harvesting as well as increased amounts of pollution gradually decreased the number of pearl-forming mussels which were available.

The French and English explorers of North America discovered native Americans who wore pearls, and also discovered freshwater pearls in rivers such as the the Ohio and Mississippi.

Freshwater pearl necklaces offer a more affordable alternative to the more expensive saltwater pearls, while still being a genuine pearl, and they can make a truly welcome gift.
About the Author
Online Jewelry Stores are great places to browse through a collection of Necklaces Made From Freshwater Pearls as well as other fine Jewelry items.
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