Pearl Guide
Pearls have been cherished for ages, but there is no definitive record of when they were first worn as jewelry. They were discovered and treasured by various ancient civilizations worldwide, including in India, China, and the Arabian Peninsula. The radiance and rarity of pearls made them highly prized by ancient civilizations, including those in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. As their renown spread, historical civilizations worldwide came to appreciate pearls, considering them a regal treasure for centuries.
Thanks to the modern innovation of cultivated pearls, these exquisite gems are now within everyone's reach. This comprehensive blog will discuss the history of pearls and the different types available.
Differences Between
Natural, Cultured, and Imitation Pearls
Natural Pearls: What Are They?
Natural pearls are gems formed inside the shells of certain mollusks without human intervention. They are created when an irritant, such as a parasite or organic material, enters the mollusk and triggers the secretion of nacre, a lustrous substance that coats the irritant over time. This process results in the formation of a pearl, prized for its unique beauty and rarity.
Cultured Pearls: What Are They?
Cultured pearls are also real pearls, but they are created with human intervention. A small bead or piece of tissue is inserted into the mollusk to initiate the nacre-secretion process. Over time, the mollusk coats the irritant with layers of nacre, forming a pearl. Cultured pearls come in various types, such as Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, and freshwater pearls, and they offer a more accessible and affordable option compared to natural pearls.
Imitation Pearls: What Are They?
Fake pearls, also known as synthetic, imitation, or faux pearls, are artificial pearls made to look like real ones. Unlike real pearls, which originate in mollusks like clams and oysters, fake pearls are created from materials such as glass, plastic, or coated beads. Imitation pearls can be a beautiful and affordable alternative for those who desire pearl jewelry but cannot afford the high price of real pearls.
How to Distinguish
Real Pearls VS Fake Pearls
Knowing the difference between genuine and imitation pearls is essential for pearl shopping. Here are some of our best tips:
Visual Inspection
No synthetic pearl can match a genuine pearl's surface sheen and luster. Real pearls have a glossy, uniform surface that beautifully reflects light, while faux pearls are more matte and lackluster. The beauty of genuine pearls lies in their inherent uniqueness, much like snowflakes. They often exhibit subtle differences in size, shape, and color, and may contain minute flaws that add to their allure and beauty.
Weight and Texture
Given their bulk and strong nacre composition, real pearls are heavier than imitation pearls. While imitation pearls have a uniformly smooth texture, the texture of real pearls is noticeably rough or gritty (verifiable through rubbing them together).
Rub Test
Another common way to check pearl quality is the rub test. This involves rubbing the pearls together or against your teeth. Real pearls have a gritty texture when rubbed across the teeth, in contrast to the smooth, crystalline feel of imitation pearls. However, real pearls are fragile gemstones, so it's important to be careful when performing this test.
Types of Pearls
Cultured whole pearls can be categorized into four main types:
Akoya Cultured Pearls
In Western markets, Akoya cultured pearls are the most well-known variety of saltwater cultivated pearls. They are often associated with white or cream-colored pearls and are primarily produced in Japan and China.
South Sea Cultured Pearls
Most of the world's saltwater-farmed pearls come from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. South Sea cultured pearls can range in color from white to silver to golden, depending on the oyster species.
Tahitian Cultured Pearls
Tahitian cultured pearls are primarily grown on the French Polynesian islands, with Tahiti being the most well-known. These saltwater-farmed pearls, also called black pearls, exhibit a vast spectrum of colors. Their gray, black, or brown base color may have blue, green, purple, or pink overtones.
Freshwater Cultured Pearls
Freshwater cultured pearls are highly favored by both consumers and jewelers due to their affordability and extraordinary range of sizes, shapes, and colors; these pearls primarily come from China.
Pearls at Graham
At Graham, our pearls are special because they are freshwater cultured pearls. Unlike pearls found in the ocean, these gems are cultivated in freshwater lakes and rivers.
What makes our pearls unique is their natural luster and variety of colors, ranging from classic white to soft pink and even lavender. Each pearl is one-of-a-kind, with its own unique shape and size, making them perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any jewelry piece. Plus, because they're cultured, these pearls are more affordable than their natural counterparts, allowing you to enjoy their beauty without breaking the bank.
Pearl Collection at Graham Jewelry
Discover the elegance of pearls with Graham Jewelry's stunning collection, featuring a range of exquisite pieces designed to complement every style and occasion:
Pearl Pendants and Necklaces
Make a statement with ASHI's pearl pendants and necklaces, featuring solitaire pearls or clusters of pearls suspended from delicate chains. Whether worn alone as a focal point or layered with other necklaces for a trendy look, these pieces exude grace and sophistication.
Pearl & Diamond Station Necklace
Pearl & Diamond Smile Necklace
Pearl & Diamond Station Necklace
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Pendant
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Pearl Rings
ASHI's pearl rings add a touch of sophistication to any ensemble. They are available in various settings, including classic solitaire designs and intricate halo settings, ensuring a perfect match for every taste.
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Ring
Pearl & Halo Diamond Ring
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Ring
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Ring
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Pearl Earrings
Frame your face with the timeless beauty of ASHI's pearl earrings, available in classic studs, elegant drops, and chic hoop styles. Each pair showcases the natural luster of freshwater cultured pearls, adding a touch of refinement to any outfit.
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Earrings
Pearl & Diamond Fashion Earrings
Pearl & Diamond Station Long Earrings
Graduated Pearl & Diamond Half Hoop Earrings
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Pearl Bracelets
Elevate your wrist with ASHI's pearl bracelets, featuring strands of lustrous pearls delicately strung together. Choose from single-strand bracelets for a subtle look or multi-strand designs for added glamour, perfect for stacking or wearing alone.
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Among all luxury jewels, pearls are the most stunning and sought-after. Therefore, putting in the time and effort to find genuine pearls is crucial to acquiring a beautiful seaside treasure with complete peace of mind. At Graham Jewelry, you can find a wide range of pearl jewelry to suit any occasion.
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