Why the Pearl is the most amazing gem…read on

Pearls (in my opinion) are the most amazing gem you can come across. Why? Because they come out of the shell in perfect condition, with no polishing or faceting required, and are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes more than any other gem.

Pearls have been worn for ages, with some of the first pieces of pearl jewelry dating back to Ancient Egypt, and its mythology is found in numerous cultures around the world. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Some Chinese legends say that pearls were formed inside the brains of dragons. In Arabian legend, they are said to be created from hardened moon drops. Today, even though we know much more about pearls, they are still mysterious to us.

By the way Happy Birthday to all the June babies out there!

June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between PEARL, Alexandrite and Moonstone. In this post we focus on Pearls which are also given on the 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th anniversaries.

How are pearls are formed?  Pearls grow inside mollusks such as oysters and mussels when an irritant such as a tiny stone or bit of sand gets inside the mollusk’s shell. This process of building a solid pearl in nature can take up to seven or eight years. Whereas, cultured pearls takes only 2 weeks to 3 months to grow.

The most valuable pearls are perfectly symmetrical, relatively large and naturally produced. Pearls are one of few gems not measured by carats. Luster is the most important aspect of choosing a pearl. The finest pearls are metallic and reflective like mirrors.

Pearls can range in size from 3mm to 13mm. Because pearls do not require polishing or faceting like most gems, finding a pair of pearls that match perfectly in size, color and luster can be more difficult—and more expensive. A matched strand of natural pearls may sell for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

Only gem experts with specific gemological X-ray equipment can distinguish natural pearls from cultured pearls. Natural pearls consist entirely of concentric growth rings, while cultured pearls have a solid nucleus of the bead or shell that was implanted to stimulate pearl production.

Here’ a list of the many types of pearls:
natural pearls are made without human interference 
cultured pearls
 was first used in 1893 and is made when a foreign substance is intentionally inserted into a living oyster
baroque pearls are pearls that have irregular shapes
biwa pearls are an irregular shaped pearl which forms in the freshwater of Lake Biwa, Japan
blister pearls are grow attached to the inside of the shell
black pearls are gray to black pearls
freshwater pearls form in fresh water mollusks and look like puffed rice
mabe pearls are cultivated blister pearls
seed pearls are small, tiny pearls

What color are pearls? They vary in color from white to pink, brown or black.

How to care for pearls?  They are very sensitive to extreme heat, acids, dryness, and humidity so care should be taken when storing pearls.

Where do they harvest pearls? Natural pearls from the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Manaar (Indian Ocean), and the Red Sea were harvested for thousands of years. The coasts of Polynesia and Australia produce mainly cultured pearls. Both freshwater and saltwater pearls are cultivated in Japan and China. Freshwater pearls occur in the rivers of Scotland, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, and the USA (Mississippi)

When you say “I do” say “yes” to pearls too: As ancient symbols of purity and innocence, pearls are traditionally worn by a bride on her wedding day—making pearl jewelry a great gift to celebrate a bride-to-be or a 1st, 3rd, 12th or 30th anniversary.

Here is summary and more interesting facts:

  1. Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal. A natural pearl of value is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters.
  2. All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at around three years of age.
  3. There are three major types of saltwater cultured pearls: Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea. These pearls account for approximately 5% of the total weight of global pearl production.
  4. Freshwater pearls account for approximately 95% of total global pearl production but are much less valuable than saltwater pearls. China produces the majority of freshwater pearls in pearl farms and typically produce between 30 and 50 pearls at a time.
  5. Even with cultivation practices, South Sea pearls are really rare. To compare, the weight of diamond production each year is 10 times greater than the weight of the Australian South Sea pearls harvest each year.
  6. Pearl oysters are also used for their shell (known as mother-of-pearl) and their meat.
  7. The earliest record we have of pearls as precious objects are artefacts from Mesopotamia dated to around 2300 B.C.
  8. Recently, a two thousand year old pearl was found in an Australian Aboriginal archaeological dig in Western Australia.
  9. La Peregrina (Spanish for ‘the incomparable’) is one of the most famous pearls in the world. The 500-year-old pearl is the size of a large pigeon’s egg. Its previous owners included a King of Spain, Napoleon Bonaparte and Elizabeth Taylor.
  10. In the early days, pearl divers regularly faced shark attacks as well as the bends when diving and the mortality rate for divers was as high as 50 per cent. Today, there are strict protocols and regulations regarding occupational diving to reduce these risks. Stop by the 黄色啪啪视频,免费啪啪视频 to shop pearls, restring your current strand or appraise heirloom pearls you might have inherited.
Share

Gift idea #7 . . . a “push” present for that special mom-to-be

Do you know someone who is expecting soon, or has recently given birth?

Consider a Push Present.

The popularity of the push present has soared recently. So what exactly is it?

Wikipedia defines “push present” as a gift a partner gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room.

A recent survey of over 30,000 respondents by BabyCenter found that 38% of new mothers received a push present, and 55% of pregnant mothers wanted one, though fewer thought it was actually expected. About 40% of both groups said the baby itself was already a present and did not wish an additional reward.

It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the new mom.

Some ideas for push gifts include jewelry with the gemstone of the month the baby is due, a gold, silver or platinum disk with names, initials or birthstone. A delicate diamond pendant, pearl necklace or earrings.

The trend has generated a backlash, as some couples dislike the implicit materialism of push presents, and would prefer increased help in chores or baby care, or save the money for the child’s education. Anyway you decide to help the new mom, she deserves some extra love and attention.


According to etiquette expert Pamela Holland, there are no set guidelines for push presents. “The standard is that there is no standard,” she said. “It does make sense to have etiquette around wedding or baby shower gifts because you’re inviting other people into it. But this is far too intimate to have a rule.” In general it is the woman who lets her man know about push presents, not the other way around, although there can be peer pressure from friends to buy one on either the man or the woman.

Diamonds were the most popular gift in the form of an eternity ring, but also tablet computers, charm bracelets and designer watches and handbags were also popular gifts to celebrate a new arrival.

Share

South Seas Cultured Pearls

The legendary allure of South Sea pearls comes from their transparent luster and unique play of colors that imparts a luminescent beauty. These qualities define the finest nacre and make South Sea Pearls the most valuable of all pearls. The finest of these pearls have nacre measuring between 3.0mm and 6.0mm.

Colors

Color overtones range from white pink and silver pink to dark gold. Australian pearls can throw fancy colors including red gold — extremely rare and highly regarded. Ideal South Sea cultured pearl strands have a natural luster and color — no enhancements. This is the South Sea pearl quality you want.

How Extraordinary is a Matched Strand?

The meticulous matching required to create an extraordinary strand can take up to a decade. This process leaves no room for compromise.

AUSTRALIA

Australian oysters and ocean conditions are generally credited with producing the largest and finest quality pearls. From the 1800s, it was the primary source of the world’s largest and most valuable pearls. Aware that their pearls would be in high demand, Australia pioneered the South Sea cultured pearl industry, coaxing the sensitive Pinctada Maxima oyster to yield pearls — no easy feat.

LIFESTYLE OF THE FAMOUS PINCTADA MAXIMA

P. Maxima is the largest pearl oyster, and it is rare, unable to survive outside small remote areas of natural habitat. Culturing it is extremely difficult. Labor-intensive farms must be situated in the isolated locations that meet P. Maxima’s highly specific needs. Each oyster can grow only one pearl at a time and takes about two years. It can only be reseeded three to four times. Not every P. Maxima will produce a pearl. Most South Sea cultured pearls range from 10.0 to 15.0 mm taking two years to grow. Larger pearls up to 20mm take four to six years of growth. Australia protects its wild oyster stocks by strictly enforcing production quotas.

MORE ABOUT P. MAXIMA

This amazing oyster lives up to 40 years and can grow to 300mm in shell length. Impressed? Wait. Like many other saltwater oysters, it functions as both a male and a female during its life. It matures first as a male at 110mm to 120mm or three to four years. By 170mm half are females and by 190mm all are females.

WHERE ELSE ARE THEY CULTURED

Originally exclusive to Australia, South Sea pearls are cultured in Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines, but the characteristics and quality of these pearls can vary greatly. Indonesia and Burma produce mainly white to yellow and also gold, while the Philippines produce mainly yellow and gold.

Share