A long-time iconic symbol of purity and elegance, the pearl is also a modern yet classic staple in any woman’s jewelry box. Their unique origin gives the stone an even more alluring nature, and you’ll surely consider adding pearls to your own collection after learning more!
The pearl has spanned centuries and centuries, dating all the way back to Greek antiquity. For many years, the pearl has been one of the most sought after and valued stones. At certain points in history, only royals were permitted to adorn themselves in pearls due the intrinsic value and purity of the stone. By the 1900s, Asian workers discovered how to grow cultured pearls by utilizing techniques among living oysters, thus inventing pearl farms.
Pearls have also made their way onto the silver screen and have been presented as extravagant gifts by the rich and famous. La Peregrina, a rarely unique pearl, was gifted by Prince Phillip II of Spain to his bride in the 16th century. The beauty ended up under ownership of actor Richard Burton, who gave it to his actress wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Though Marilyn Monroe advocated vocally for the diamond being a “girl’s best friend,” her alleged favorite piece of jewelry was, in fact, a 16-inch string of pearls. Fashion icon, actress – and later-in-life princess of Monaco – Grace Kelly, constantly exhibited pearls as part of her luxurious and expensive jewelry collection.
The Uniqueness of the Pearl
While most gems are found deep inside the earth, pearls come from the sea. Their opaque nature and smooth façade makes them a timeless, elegant, and versatile stone to add to any collection!
Various Types of Pearls
Though all pearls are beautiful, there are several categories that set certain pearls apart from others, both in monetary value and look.
- The Natural pearl is extremely rare as most have already been harvested. Even tiny natural pearls would be quite costly.
- Cultured pearls are grown in pearl farms, where a pearl bead nucleus is implanted in a mollusk while it grows and is cared for until the pearl has formed. The pearls that result from this process can vary in quality.
- Saltwater pearls are formed mainly in Japanese and Chinese waters, and are on the smaller end of the spectrum. Pearls that are cultivated in Australia and Indonesia are South Sea pearls – the largest of all pearls.
- Freshwater pearls are mainly grown in China, and can arrive in various shapes. Because freshwater pearls have a piece of tissue in lieu of a bead nucleus, they have thicker nacre.
- Imitation pearls are usually glass beads coated with a milky color or pastel. Their luster is not as high as that of high-quality cultured pearls, and can be purchased for a low price.
Keep your pearl jewelry and other gemstones protected with a SIMPLR protection plan!