04 Jun Our Pearls of Wisdom – Interesting Facts
Deonne Le Roux’s Pearls of Wisdom
11 Interesting Facts you probably didn’t know about Pearls
Long known as the “Queen of Gems,” pearls possess a history and allure far beyond what today’s wearer may recognize.
Pearls are true treasures from the earth’s rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. Pearls have always embodied the power and life-sustaining nature of water and is the only gemstone created from a living organism. A natural pearl has been coveted and cherished by people from around the world ever since it has been discovered, especially by royalty.
Here is a list of 11 interesting facts about this precious stone:
1. There are Four Main Types of Pearls
There are four main pearl types and they vary in terms of size, shape, colour and value.
- Freshwater pearls are mainly grown in rivers and lakes. They are most widely available and as a result sold for an appealing price.
- Japanese Akoya pearls are a variety of salt water pearls that are arguably best-known in the world. They feature spherical shapes with beautiful luster.
- Tahitians pearls are also a type of saltwater pearls. They are commonly referred to as ‘black pearls’ due to their shades of grey, blue, green and purple.
- South Sea Pearls are the largest of all pearls and feature white, cream and golden hues.
2. Pearls are the Birthstone of the Month of June
If you were born in the month of June, you are lucky enough to have the beautiful Pearl as your birthstone. Pearls are used in bracelets, earrings, necklaces and even engagement rings.
3. Only Gemstone that comes from a living organism
Despite being classified as a gemstone, pearls differ significantly from all others (including sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc.) due to the fact that they are the only gems to come from a living creature. All other gemstones form in the Earth’s crust as magma cools under high pressure.
4. The colour of the pearl depends on the colour of the inside of the shell it comes from
In between layers of the oyster’s inside-shell nacre are layers of organic “glue” called conchiolin. Conchiolin can have a natural pigmentation which appears as blue, grey, yellow, green, pink or orange hues which are then absorbed into the surface of the pearl. Thus we see pearls in a variety of colours.
5. Natural Pearls are rare
Pearls are an incredibly rare occurrence in nature and were made even rarer in the 1930s when oyster beds were over-harvested and severely depleted to meet rising consumer demand. It is estimated that, for every ton of oysters harvested, only three or four of them will have gem-quality pearls.
6. Today, almost all pearls are cultivated
The majority of pearls you see today are cultured or human- or farm-made pearls. An irritant is implanted within the oyster to mimic the natural formation of a pearl. An estimated 99% of pearls in the market today are cultured pearls.
7. Kokici Mikimoto is credited as the first person to create an artificially produced round pearl
In 1878, Japanese entrepreneur Kokichi Mikimoto began exhaustively exploring methods to create perfectly round cultured pearls. In 1896, Mikimoto received a patent for his cultured pearls and completely revolutionized the pearl jewellery business. Mikimoto continued to advance the science of cultured pearls and vastly expanded his business into the international powerhouse and veritable leader of pearl jewellery it is today.
8. Most expensive pearl ever sold was owned by Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette’s pearl pendant was sold for $32 million in a 2018 auction. This hefty price tag made it the most expensive pearl ever to be sold. The pendant was part of a diamond-studded pendant and its important historical significance increased the value.
9. Oldest Pearl Necklace dates back to 350 BCE and was owned by an ancient Persian princess
In 1901, archaeologists uncovered what is believed to be the oldest pearl necklace in Susa, an ancient city in Iran. Buried inside the precious stone-encrusted sarcophagus was the skeleton of a woman adorned with gold ornaments and the pearl necklace. The necklace was incredibly deteriorated with only 238 of the estimated original 500 pearls, some of which crumbled away when touched.
10. Pearls have their own vocabulary for length
As the popularity of pearls has continued to grow, many different styles of pearl necklaces have emerged. As a result, people have developed a unique set of vocabulary specifically for the size of pearl necklaces. There are a variety of different terms for necklace lengths (from shortest to longest): Choker, Princess, Matinee, Opera, and Rope.
11. Pearls have a very deep yet whimsical meaning
Pearls symbolize wisdom acquired through experience. They are believed to attract wealth and luck as well as offer protection. The pearl is also said to symbolize the purity, generosity, integrity, and loyalty of its wearer. Thus, pearl jewellery is the go-to for any bride.
Celebrating the Women in your life
I believe we can all say the women in our lives are beautiful and describe them as the soul of the world. She flows through our lives over the mountain highs we accomplish, and the depth of the troubles we face. She reaches around our world with a strong embrace. She is a woman you can rely on. She is confident, generous, loyal and wise. She is a woman of mystery and she is a true treasure.
Celebrate the women in your life with a gemstone that speaks to who she is. The beautiful Pearl is a gemstone that carries these qualities naturally. Qualities of love, purity, loyalty, good fortune and peace flow from a pearl.
Gift a pearl jewellery piece today.