Like 'em or hate 'em: the pearl is one of the most sought after and controversial gems in the world with a wild and
Actually, the pearl is not a gem at all, but the result of an organic process caused by irritating a little mussel or
oyster. No need to cut or polish - the pearl is produced in all it's beauty by Mother-Nature herself. Cultured pearls have
been produced for about 100 years since Mikimoto perfected the method of imitating nature's process. This process is
considered by a growing sector of the population to be cruel to the little innocent oysters that are exploited for the
It would be impossible to relate many of the wonderful tales involving the lust for the lustrous beauty of the sea in this
small blog episode. Suffice it to say that for generations and millenia, the pearl was the most sought-after jewel,
adorning every visible portion of the anatomy of both men and women and being sewn into royal dresses and hairdo's.
Pearls are valued according to shape, size, lustre and color. Tastes vary and while some may chase the perfectly
round and blue, others wish for a pink-toned lustre. Other colors are gold, silvery and black. I've been told that recently,
the unique Baroque pearls, with their irregular shapes are in high demand.
Baroque pearls are naturally formed, organic, asymmetric shaped. These were often used in Renaissance jewels and most
wonderful of all, jewels that incorporated them and utilised their unique forms to create little figures of all sorts.
Baroque, natural pearls were also popular with Arts & Crafts jewelers.
There are also small pearls found in rivers and often incorporated as part of pretty Victorian jewelry.
#6043 Antique Victorian natural pearl necklace.
There are still many people who will have nothing to do with pearls, associating them with sorrow and other ills.
With the value of natural pearls sky-rocketing, those nay-sayers are scarcely a whisper. Since most sources of natural
pearls have been over-exploited, the concensis is that there are no more natural pearls to be found today. This has pushed
the value of the remaining natural pearls from previous decades and centuries into the stratosphere. At the same time,
interestingly, the value of cultured pearls has dropped over the last few years and what was once considered a valuable
necklace, might have negligible value today. The cycle is likely to reverse for cultured pearls, so don't despair.
#5251 Cultured pearl necklace. Definitely more bang for your buck, but much less sought after today.
Bottom of the value-pile are beads, usually made of glass, with a thin layer of nacre (the shiny, iridescent, pearly
material) or even paint covering them in imitation of the real thing. Other forms of imitation include a paste of fish-
scales, popular in the 19th century, especially in France.
#5231 Baroque natural pearls often used in Arts and Crafts jewels.
The pearl topic is to be re-visited with stories and tails of these wonders of nature as well as a lot more
technical information and what to look for or avoid when buying pearls.
#5841 Fantastic French necklace with natural pearls.
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