“I favour pearls on screen and in my private life.” – Grace Kelly
Who doesn’t love pearls? One of the most valuable gems, the pearl is the birthstone for the month of June. Pearls also mark the 3rd and 30th anniversaries of marriage. They are distinctive among gemstones as they are organically created by living beings unlike the rest that are found within the earth. Pearls are delicate, lustrous and translucent. They come in many colours and shapes ranging from white to black and round to baroque. Fascinating! As per the ancient Vedic astrology, pearl is linked to the moon and it is considered to represent the psyche in us. Pearls are also symbolic of purity, wisdom, wealth and integrity.
Pearls are a product of irritation! In their most natural form, pearls are formed organically by accident without any human intervention. When a foreign body enters into the tissues of certain type of mollusks (oysters), the oysters get irritated and concentric layers of ‘nacre’ or ‘mother of pearl’ get deposited around the foreign matter as a self-defence. And over a period of time, a thick layer of nacre is formed over the foreign matter which gives rise to a beautiful ‘nacreous’ or ‘pearly’ effect. Prior to the twentieth century, pearls were mostly known to exist in their natural form. The Japanese however had mastered the art of cultivating pearls in the twentieth century. Hence the epicentre for cultivation of pearls is Japan, also cultivated along the North western coast of Australia and most recently along the coastal regions of India.
The most common types of pearl are:
- Freshwater pearls, known for their baroque shape, are the most affordable among all the types of pearls and offer great choice of jewellery options.
- South Sea pearls which are grown in Australia, Philippines and Indonesia, are the largest saltwater pearls and lend themselves well to statement jewellery.
- Akoya pearls which are grown off the coast of Japan, are mostly round and considered the classic among pearls. They lend themselves well to necklaces and bracelets.
- Tahitian pearls which are grown in French Polynesia, are the only naturally dark pearls available in exotic colours. They are well suited for versatile jewellery designs and styles.
Pearls are versatile. They can be worn to mark formal occasions or used for everyday wear! They can be paired with dresses, suits or even jeans. Plus, they make great gifts. You can be rest assured that they will be well received! Works all the time… They are also great heirloom jewellery items, passed from one generation to another. Most common jewellery types are necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. You can find the Hep Audrey selection of pearls in the below link:
All pearls are born male and transform into females at around 3 years of age.
Now we know why they are referred to as Mother of Pearls and not Father of Pearls! Have a lovely pearly month ahead. And, Happy Birthday to those born in the month of June!