For hundreds of years pearls have played a prominent part in luxurious jewellery but to begin with owning just one pearl would have set you back at least a few hundred pounds, even thousands.
The History of Pearls
The reason for this is the original way that pearls were found. A natural pearl or "wild pearl" is one that forms without any human intervention and all those years ago this was the only way to obtain these beautiful stones. Many hundreds of pearl oysters or pearl mussels had to be gathered and opened, killed, in order to find even one wild pearl, leading to the reason pearls fetched such extraordinary prices. The problem with this method was, over time, pearl oysters and mussels were becoming extinct due to the high numbers being harvested for jewellery production. “By the early 20th century we had either over-fished or polluted the worlds’ mollusc beds to the point of extinction all over the world”.
Due to this problem the culturing process was invented and these days the majority of pearls are ‘cultured’. Cultured pearls are formed in a pearl farm, using human intervention as well as natural processes to replicate what happens in the shells of the underwater creatures. “It’s fair to say that the invention of cultured pearls has both saved pearl production from extinction and given such a value to the natural environment where they’re grown that it’s protected and encouraged to blossom”.
Jersey Pearl at Something Elegant
The pearls that Something Elegant stock in the form of the brand Jersey Pearl are Freshwater Pearls, the most commonly used pearl available on the market today. They are grown in freshwater mussels that are farmed in freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds and streams all over the world. The pearls come naturally in a variety of beautiful pastel colours including pink, white, peach and purple. A freshwater pearl mussel can grow up to 50 cultured pearls at a time resulting in the reason the price is so reasonable in comparison to saltwater pearls. “Freshwater farms initially only produced small rice shaped pearls but through selective breeding of the mussels they’re now producing larger round and near round pearls on a more regular basis. The quality of freshwater pearls is constantly improving allowing us to acquire pearls of excellent quality at a price that allows them to be enjoyed by everyone”.
No to Faux
Once you know the story behind the pearl you begin to gain more of a respect for them and possibly, like a lot of people in the pearl industry, develop a slight snobbery for real pearls over faux. By snobbery what I mean is a disregard to those who label their plastic bead necklaces that resemble pearls as a ‘pearl necklace’.
Something Elegant and the brands that we work with ensure that the only pearls we stock are the genuine article. To instil that trust in our customers all our pearl jewellery is accompanied by a 1 year guarantee and a care booklet so you know we’re the real deal and that your pearls are going to stand the test of time. For more information on any of our beautiful pearl jewellery please contact us on 08450 940 925. Alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites that provided some information:
Jersey Pearl, www.jerseypearl.com