Luminous Pearls – The Queen of Gems

Pearls have long been valued for their beauty and before the creation of culture pearls were consider so rare and expensive they were reserved for the rich and noble. To give you a sense of their value, the Roman general Vitellius financed an entire military campaign just by selling one of his mother’s earrings (we don’t know if he got permission first).

 

What is Pearl?

Pearls for all their beauty are a bi-product produced by mollusks (clams, oysters, or mussels) in response to a foreign particle in its shell. The mollusk’s answer to this irritant is to secrete a shiny, iridescent substance and encapsulate the particle. The size, or thickness of the nacre coating depends on a variety of factors including the type of mollusk, the water in which it lives (e.g., degree of salinity) and time. 

Pearls are wonderfully diverse, the most familiar are white and cream with brown, grey and silver not far behind but they can extend to any hue. The main color, or body color may be enhanced with the addition of colors called overtones. Colors seen with this enhancement include pink (or rosé), green, purple, blue and black.

 

Au Natural?

 

Natural pearls versus cultured pearls is the question. It boils down to if humans helped in the process, with natural pearls, the mollusks did all the work themselves. Conversely, with cultured pearls, human intervention was required, and most of the mollusks are raised exclusively to produce pearls.

What’s in a Pearl? (It depends on who you ask)

  • Love

In ancient mythology, pearls were thought to come from the tears of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Pearls are often given as gifts to express love, loyalty, and affection, and are commonly used in engagement and wedding rings.

Organic designed nested ring - Sundara Joon

  • Purity

Pearls can symbolize purity, innocence, and sincerity. White pearls are a classic choice for bridal jewelry.

  • Wisdom

In some cultures, pearls are associated with wisdom.

  • Wealth and status

Pearls can also symbolize wealth, status, and success. Pearl necklaces are often seen as timeless and elegant and can represent fertility.

Colorful beaded moth pendant necklace - Sundara Joon

  • Overcoming adversity

Given that pearls are formed when a mollusk secretes fluid to protect itself from an irritant, can be seen as a metaphor for turning adversity into something positive.

  • Other meanings

Finally, pearls can be associated with the moon, water, luck, and protection from harm. In some cultures, pearls are thought to represent dewdrops or even  the tears of gods.

 Colorful floral pattern ring - Sundara Joon

Pearl is the birthstone of June.

 

How to Care for Pearl Jewelry:

To keep your pearl jewelry looking beautiful, follow these care tips:

Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Pearls do not react well to the harsh chemicals found in household cleaners, perfumes, and cosmetics. Remove your jewelry before applying lotions, hairsprays, or perfumes, and avoid contact with household cleaners or chlorine bleach as they can dissolve the pearl coating.

Clean Gently: To clean your handmade pearl jewelry, use a soft, damp cloth or a mild soap solution. It is suggested to wipe down pearl jewelry after each wearing to avoid build up and especially after sweating. Do not soak in water as that can damage the threads of a pearl strand necklace. Do not use in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with other jewelry as this will damage the pearls.

 Multi layered woven gemstone bracelet - Sundara Joon

Protect from Impact: Store your labradorite jewelry separately from harder gemstones to prevent scratching. A soft pouch or jewelry box works great.

Avoid Heat: Wait to put on your jewelry until after you’ve blow dried your hair, or heat in general which can damage the pearls.

Store Properly: When not wearing your pearl jewelry, store it in a soft pouch or jewelry box to protect it from scratches and dust. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as prolonged exposure can damage the outer layers.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your pearl jewelry remains beautiful and well-preserved for years to come.

Floral inspired cuff bracelet - Sundara Joon

Our artist friends here at Sundara Joon have been hard at work making some beautiful pieces incorporating this special stone. Check out their exquisite, handcrafted pearl jewelry for yourself. Thanks to their talents we have beautiful handmade pearl earrings, pearl bracelets, pearl rings, and pearl necklaces.

 Underwater freshwater pearl drop statement earrings - Sundara Joon

 More fun reads on this beautiful gemstone.

 Lilly pad inspired earrings with white or black pearls - Sundara Joon

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