The legendary Coco Chanel once rightly said that “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls”. No wonder, the ramp scene is choc-o-block with models sashaying across adorning beautiful strands of pearls or a single pearl necklace.
If you also have been thinking lately to add a few pieces to your timeless jewelry collection, before buying, here are 4 facts that you need to know about this precious gem.
1. Pearl Types
Broadly speaking, there are in total of four varieties of pearls available.
· South Sea
· Freshwater pearls
The first three variants are naturally produced in the depths of sea beds inside the
oyster shells. They are rare and hence are costlier. Freshwater pearls, on the other hand, are cultivated varieties and are more affordable to own.
2. Pearl Building Process: Natural v/s Cultivated
Pearl creation is actually the natural defence reaction of molluscs when an irritant accidentally enters the oyster. It starts covering the irritant with nacre and the process goes on for years which lead to the production of a natural saltwater pearl.
Cultivated pearls, on the other hand, are created with the human intervention by intentionally sliding an irritant through the oyster opening. Freshwater pearls might lack lustre and quality. It is advised that you thoroughly check the quality before investing.
3. Quality Checking Parameters
In a Pearl, Quality wise, two factors are highly important:
· Surface smoothness
· Surface lustre
Apart from this, make sure that you thoroughly check the hole drilled sections on both sides of the gem. There should be absolutely no chipping. Also, run through the entire section of the pearl body to check the nacre peeling concerns, if any.
While buying a high-quality single pearl necklace, you ideally shouldn’t come across such issues.
4. Natural Pearl Sizing and colours
These parameters are dependent upon the variant.
· Akoya Pearls: Typically well-rounded shape and most lustrous of all the types.
Available shades: Silver, White, Off-white and cream
Size: Ranges between 5 mm – 12 mm.
· South Sea Pearls: Round/Baroque shape.
Available shades: Silver, White, Off-white and cream; All of them in gold tones.
Size: This can go up to a maximum of 18 mm.
Apart from this, Tahitian pearls occur in eye-catching exquisite shapes. These are also the only naturally occurring pearls that are dark or totally black in colour.