While you can argue that all gemstones are rare and that all gemstones are beautiful, there is something distinctly captivating about June's birthstone, Pearl. I love to design with these bubbles of beauty and am continually inspired by their unique forms and the complex way in which they interact with the world around them.
Read below for 8 Reasons To Love Pearls:
1. Every pearl is Unique
Every pearl is created by an animal and its formation is affected by various environmental conditions, quality of human care on the pearl farm, culturing time, and the overall health of the mollusk. This means that every pearl needs to be considered individually.
Unlike other colored gemstones that form deep within the earth as a result of pressure, temperature, and the miraculous presence of a specific cocktail of chemicals, pearls are an organic gemstone. Organic gemstones are made either by a plant or animal. Pearls form inside mollusks that can be found in either salt or fresh water.
A pearl forms when an irritant gets inside the shell of the mollusk and the mollusk reacts by coating the invader with layer upon layer of beauty. Mollusks secrete a material called nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) that hardens into iridescent “bricks” that are bound together by a second substance (conchiolin) that acts like glue. Basically, a mollusk shoots a spider web of shiny material around the intruder in order to neutralize the foreign matter and protect itself, creating a unique bubble of beautiful!
2. Pearls come in many varieties!
There are thousands of varieties of mollusks in the world, but only 20 varieties can produce a pearl (The other varieties of mollusk [ie: oysters!] are still delicious, just gemologically less alluring…). From the perfectly spherical white orbs of Akoya Pearls to the plethora of colors and shapes of freshwater pearls, the options for pearls are endless.
For more about pearl varieties, CLICK HERE .
3. Pearls Interact Beautifully with Light
Luster is the way the light plays off of the surface of the pearl. Due to the pearls' structure, light does not just reflect off of the surface, but also penetrates the pearl and bounces off of the internal layers that make up the gem. This causes light to seemingly reflect and glow from WITHIN the pearl.
When the pearl is formed with tight layers, the luster will result in sharper reflections. I judge a pearl on how well I can see my own reflection when I look at it ;-)
4. Pearls Come in Many shapes and sizes
There is a pearl shape and size for everyone! The pearl shape can range from round to baroque, which is an irregular shape. The longer the pearl remains within the mollusk, the greater the chance of developing an irregular shape. A perfectly round pearl is very rare. A large, perfectly round pearl is even rarer!
It doesn't matter what they told you: Size Matters. At least when it comes to pearls! With all other factors being equal, a larger pearl will be more valuable because a larger pearl is more rare.
Learn more about Pearl Value Factors HERE
5. Pearls Come In A Wide range of colors
A pearl's color will be the result of the breed of the host mollusk and that of the donor tissue. There are
also a host of external influences, including diet, water temperature and pollutants, that can effect the color of the pearl. This makes it impossible to accurately predict the color of the pearl before it is grown!
Pearl color is a complex science and a combination of three distinct elements:
Body colors: Body color is the dominant hue of a pearl. What color do you see when you just glance at the pearl?
Overtones: Translucent color that overlies bodycolor. If you tilt the pearl from side to side and squint, is there a slight tinge of a secondary color?
Orient: Iridescent rainbow colors on the surface. This is the magical, rainbow wash you see when you look at a pearl.
Color nuance in pearls can be an exciting adventure to explore!
6. Pearls are great Environmental Indicators
A batch of pearls can indicate if there are environmental pollutants present in the water. Mollusks are sensitive creatures and there are certain environmental hazards that can disturb or destroy a pearl crop including pollution and either excess or too little available nutrients in the water. Overcrowded pearl farms can reduce the amount of nutrients and oxygen needed for the pearls to thrive while increasing the likelihood of disease among mollusks and other marine animals. Paying close attention to the quality of the pearls and health of the mollusks can be a first line defense against pollutants and hazards in the environment.
7. Pearls have the best "Office"
Pearls are grown on pearl farms, which are areas where mollusks can be cultivated to grow pearls. Because mollusks are sensitive creatures that require extremely clean waters and protection from natural disaster, pearl farms are often located in absolutely idyllic locations, such as this beautiful cove below in French Polynesia.
8. Pearls Provide Opportunity for local communities
Properly managed pearl farms offer real opportunities to individuals and communities on the small islands in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans where pearl farms are present. This is true from both an economic perspective (ie: jobs!) and in terms of protecting the environment.
If you have a special celebration coming up, we can create custom jewelry featuring Pearl or any gemstone of your choosing!
Email me here and let's get the process started!
When it comes to Original Eve's jewelry designs, there is always more than meets the eye. If you have questions about any of the designs, crafting processes, gemstones, or materials used in the items you see in any of our jewelry, please feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org