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The Never Ending Passion For Pearls

Oct 30, 2007
The biggest rival of the diamond would have to be the pearl. Pearls have been around forever it seems because they are mentioned throughout history. In their natural state they can be an array of different colors.

The most sought after for jewelry has generally been a creamy white color, but they are also found in pinks, purple, blues, and even black. The most valuable stones tend to be perfectly round in their shape. Other shapes are used for jewelry making as well. These odd shapes are referred to as baroque.

Pearls can be found in mollusks, or pearl oysters in saltwater. Salt water pearls are known for their round shape because of the way the pearl oyster produces them. If an irritant of some kind, like a parasite, or even a grain of sand, gets inside the mussel and embeds itself.

The mussel can not remove the irritant, so it begins to coat the particle with a secretion known as nacre. This is a substance made of calcium carbonate. Natural pearls are almost 100% nacre. This coating of the irritant is repeated many times and eventually creates a pearl.

Tahiti and other south sea islands are famous for their black pearls oysters. Natural black pearls are rare and the cultured black pearl is not easily produced due to the extreme sensitivity of the black pearl oyster.

Freshwater pearls are special in their own right. They are found in mussels that live in freshwater such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. China exports the most freshwater pearls, but they are also found right here in the United States.

Although freshwater pearls can be found perfectly round as in pearl oysters, this is not very common. The baroque pearls are much more common. These baroque pearls can be oval in shape or some are found in long slivers called spikes. The baroque pearl can also come in a variety of color shades.

Baroque pearls can be made into some exquisite pieces of jewelry because of there odd shapes. A custom design jeweler can make an abstract setting around the pearl to make exquisite one of a kind pieces of jewelry.

Cultured pearls, simply means that an irritant, usually a round bead, is deliberately placed inside a saltwater mussel to aid in the natural process of making a pearl. The oyster will coat the bead several times and the pearl is not removed for at least six moths. Freshwater cultured pearls are largely produced in china.
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Dror Klar is an advocate and writer about top quality Diamonds and Jewelry. learn more about his new
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