Bling of the Month: Pearls, Pearls, Pearls

Nothing says classic elegance more than a single strand of perfect pearls, and nothing is as timeless or a covetable as my fabulous strand of pearls finished with a "diamond pearl" shown throughout. This month is all about pearls since they are the birthstone of the lucky ones born in June. Here is some of their myth and history. 

In many countries around the world, pearls have been incorporated to the mythology of almost every culture that has encountered them. What makes them so fascinating?, you might ask. Well they come from the sea for starters, which is always a source of wonder.

The mythology of pearls goes way back to the origins of history. In Hindu culture pearls represent the moon and were symbols of love and virginity. It's said Krishna discovered the first pearl and gave it to his daughter on her wedding day. Islamic tradition holds pearls in even higher esteem. In the Koran, pearls are considered one of the greatest rewards to be received in Paradise, and in Christianity, pearls are considered a symbol of purity.

People have been making jewels from pearls for centuries. They are after all, the oldest known gem. I keep the on the top of my list because due to their beauty and value, they have been able to transcend the test of time. In the 1900's pearls were so rare and valuable, that famed jeweler (and idol of mine) Jacques Cartier purchased the property for his store on Fifth Avenue by exchanging the property for two pearl necklaces.

Pearls, with their warm inner glow, have always been considered an ideal wedding gift. Sometimes, they are even used as a solitaire in an engagement ring. These lovely, lustrous gems don't only come in virginal white. Depending of where they were "made" pearls come in different colors, ready to satisfy all of my customers desires.
Akoya pearls, the classic cultured pearls from Japan, are considered the most lustrous of all. They come in lovely colors such as rose, silver/white, cream, gold, and blue/gray, and are generally found in round, semi-round, baroque, and drop shapes. When it comes to size, Akoyas range between 2 and 10 millimeters, with the average pearl being 7 millimeters round.

The next type of pearl, South Sea, are the rarest and most expensive of all cultured pearls. Because they look exactly like natural pearls (you can only tell the difference by X-ray), South Sea pearls are not enhanced in any way, and are only polished to bring out their natural glow. Their most common color is white, but they are also found in silver/white, pink and gold. As far as shape, they are available in the same shapes as the Akoya, with the addition of button, ringed, semi-baroque and oval shapes. Their size ranges from 8 to 22 millimeters, with the average being 15.

Tahitian pearls, or black pearls as they are commonly known, are almost twice the size of the Akoya. These large, dark beauties are treasured for their rarity and exotic color and luster. Year after year, Tahitians increase in value, making them an amazing investment. These pearls are worshiped for their almost metallic color, which varies from light grey to dark grey. In addition to their dark color, Tahitians are favored due to their ability to display different shades of shine on their surface. The most desired are peacock and and cobalt blue colors, but aubergine, magenta, greens, golden-orange, and lemon are also available.

When purchasing pearls, I suggest you keep in mind that rose and silver/white pearls look great on fair skin, while gold and cream colored pearls look best on olive skin and darker complexions. Also remember that even though the size of a pearl does not determine its quality, it does matter when it comes to price. Because its very hard to grow a larger pearl, usually the bigger the pearl, the higher the price it will fetch.
I love working with pearls and have used them since I began designing jewelry. Due to their amazing characteristics and popularity with my clientele, they are always present in my collections. A pearl can be a symbol of love or a good investment. To me, they are a spectacle of nature and a world or inspiration. 'Till next time.

Love Always
Dani K

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