A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries.
With the tremendous variety of pearls on the market today, pearls are considered the least understood of all gemstones. There are two basic varieties of cultured pearls; freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater pearls are grown primarily in man-made lakes and reservoirs in China. Saltwater pearls, which include akoya, Tahitian and South Sea, are grown in bays, inlets and atolls in many places around the world. Saltwater pearls are considered more valuable than freshwater pearls, although rare and very high-quality freshwater pearls can be exceedingly valuable.
The most affordable variety of pearl is the freshwater pearl. But this does not mean freshwater pearls cannot be valuable, in fact, they are considered by many to be the best value of all cultured pearls today. Freshwater pearls, unlike saltwater pearls, are grown without a bead nucleus, so they are composed of solid nacre. In other words, freshwater pearls are solid pearls. They are more affordable because the volume of freshwater pearls produced greatly exceeds the combined volume of all other pearl varieties. Today, their unique shapes and wide range of colors combined with their attractive prices and charming character, have made them a favourite among jewelry designers, shoppers and pearl connoisseurs alike.
One of the most important considerations in selecting a piece of pearl jewelry is determining the type of pearl that is best suited to your budget and preference. For the classic look, and the most popular selection offered, consider a freshwater pearl necklace in a 42 – 45 cm length. For the young lady still in her teens, we suggest a necklace in either the 6.5 to 7.0 mm range, or the 7.5 to 8.0 mm range. For young adults to the professional, a slightly larger size 9.0 mm to 10.00 mm may be appropriate.Pearls are the world’s only organic gemstone, and therefore, tend to be quite delicate. Personal care products, such as perfume or hairspray, can severely damage the luster and beauty of a pearl.