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A Comprehensive Guide to Pearl Jewelry

May 24, 202425 ViewsShesFeel

A favorite jewel of the ages, from ancient royalty to modern-day baseball players, pearls exhibit color, shape and shine that set them apart in the world of gemstones. Their soft luster and silky feel evoke comfort and elegance, and today these gemstones maintain popularity in necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and more.

Contents

What is a Pearl?

A treasure born from rivers, lakes and seas, pearls form in the bodies of certain mollusks when an irritant like sand enters their shell. Over time, the mollusk coats the irritant with layers of protein, called nacre, to create a beautiful, lustrous jewel.

What’s the difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls?

Natural pearls form entirely without human intervention, making them incredibly rare—and considerably more valuable than cultured pearls. Over the last century, natural pearls have become even more scarce, leading to the fascinating science of pearl cultivation.

Cultured pearls form inside the body of a mollusk. However, technicians help the process along by inserting a man-made irritant to stimulate the creation of nacre. The resulting gemstone is far more affordable and is as authentic and beautiful as a natural pearl. The majority of pearls on the market today are of the cultivated variety.

How to Choose a Pearl?

When it’s all boiled down, the best advice we can give you about how to pick a pearl is to choose the one that makes you feel like a million bucks when you’re wearing it. Here are some things to look for when you’re pearl shopping.

A Pearl for Every Personality

Prized for centuries, the silvery glow of pearls was associated with the purity and protection of the moon. Today, pearls are cultivated in beautiful hues of white, rose, green and even black.

Although they’re the birthstone for June, we believe pearls are for everyone. Classic white pearls make a traditional finish to a dressy outfit, but if you prefer a bolder statement, slip on a strand of black pearls or a pair of green-pearl pendant earrings.

No matter your personality, there’s a pearl for you—our large selection of freshwater, South Sea, Akoya and Tahitian saltwater pearls ensure it.

Brief History of Pearls

Pearls have been revered for centuries, and their first use as jewelry isn’t documented. Many jewelry historians believe that pearls were found by ancient fish-eating tribes along India’s coasts when they were opening oysters for food. Ancient cultures in India, Egypt and China all valued pearls for their beauty. Pearl’s popularity moved throughout the region and soon the world, with many historic societies valuing these gems. For centuries, pearls were reserved for royalty.

The more recent invention of cultured pearls has made these beautiful gems more accessible to everyone. Cultured pearls allow for the large-scale creation of glistening gems and increased affordability.

Famous Pearl Jewelry

Pearls have remained a cultural phenomenon, with people from all walks of life wearing these gems. Audrey Hepburn famously wore strings of pearls in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, making the pearl and little black dress combo iconic. Rene Russo wore a pearl station necklace in 1996’s Tin Cup, linking the jewelry style to the namesake film. More recently, pearls have been worn by Kamala Harris and even baseball player Joc Pederson.

Natural vs Cultured Pearls

Natural and cultured pearls are both made in mollusks when an irritant finds it way inside. The mollusk secretes a protective fluid that, over time, forms layers that create a shining pearl. For natural pearls, this happens without human intervention. In cultured pearls, this happens when someone puts the irritant, aka the nucleus, directly into the mollusk. The formation of the pearl is still up to the mollusk and cannot be controlled. This makes even cultured pearls unique and beautiful in their individuality.

How to Wear Pearls Like You Wear Born in Them

Pearls have always been at the heart of great style. Wearers love them for their luminous luster, silky feel and soft, delightful click. There really is no wrong way to wear pearls. A pearl bracelet pairs as well with jeans as with a ball gown, and the same strand of pearls that’s an understated adornment at brunch finishes off a ravishing Little Black Dress with stand-out style. Here’s how to make the most out of your pearls.

How to Take Care of Your Pearls

Pearls are effortlessly elegant and versatile, and if it makes your heart happy, you can wear them every single day. But if you want them to last a lifetime, you’ve got to properly take care of gemstone jewelry.