Pearls stand for modesty, virtue ad purity, making them a highly popular choice for making jewelry. Technically speaking, pearls are known as organic gems and are collected from shellfish, although so much has changed since the time these treasures were discovered. Now, there are new ways of harvesting and using them, and even novel methods of wearing them.
If you’ve always loved pearl jewelry but don’t know how to choose a good piece, you need to have a solid understanding of the essentials: luster, size, consistency and style.
When assessing a pearl, luster is the first and most important property you should focus on. Luster is simply how sharp and intense reflections are on the gem’s surface. Going deeper, look for fine luster by checking on the clarity of the images that are reflected. More clarity means more luster. Also pearls with fine luster have the tendency to glow warmly from inside.
Pearl size is considered for both aesthetic and financial reasons. Bigger pearls are usually preferred for necklaces, but they may not be ideal for white pearl earrings because they divert attention away from the wearer. Moreover, larger pearls made into rings are very bulky and rather inconvenient to wear. And of course, a bigger pearl will always have a bigger price tag, so as a smart shopper, you need to look for that balance between price and cost.
As you shop for pearl jewelry, check how the gems match each other when put together in a piece. Subtleties – finish, shape, color, etc. – may go unnoticed when pearls are scrutinized individually, but together, they can look imbalanced. Choose pearl jewelry whose individual pearls look very consistent with each other, although this will probably cost more.
As well, do give your fashion style a check before buying pearl jewelry. Or if you’re buying the jewelry for a specific event or occasion, see if they would match. For instance, a white pearl choker would be perfect for a business function, while chocolate pearl earrings would be more versatile. In short, prior to paying for a piece of pearl jewelry, think how and where you’ll probably wear it.
Natural versus Farmed
Lastly, you have the issue between natural and farmed pearls. So which one is better? Truth is, there’s really no issue at all. Cultured and natural pearls both come from real oysters, so if you really think about it, these two are essentially natural. As you may have known, pearls are formed when an oyster releases a semi-translucent substance known as “nacre” whenever sand or any other irritant lodges itself on the shell. Over time, these deposits grow thicker until they grow a certain size and are collected as pearls. For more facts and information about pearls, you can go to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pearl.
Oysters in a pearl farm are intentionally implanted with irritants, but just the same, they deposit one layer of nacre after another until the pearls increase to a certain size and are harvested. Why do they make pearl farms? Because the oceans are no longer able to satisfy the great demand for these gems. Still, as we have said earlier, there is no real difference between a natural pearl stud earrings and a cultured one.