Did you know that pearls are the only gemstone made by living animals?
Here’s a list of other interesting facts about these classy jewels:
- Pearl farming is know as “Periculture.”
- Most today’s pearls are “cultured” or “cultivated”. Harvesting “natural” pearls was compromised by water pollution, tsunamis, and other phenomena that made it difficult to safely leave the oysters in the water long enough to grow sizeable pearls.
- Every pearl is unique. No two are alike, and all have some imperfections, just like us.
- Harvesting pearls from mollusks does not kill the animals, as they can be re-implanted and used to make more pearls.
- Saltwater pearls come from oysters,
- Freshwater pearls usually come from mussels, although all mollusks can make pearls.
- Pearls take their color from the inside of the shell in which they are growing. The colours go from white to gold and from purple to black.
- Today, pearls are cultivated in many locations such as Japan, China, Australia, the Philippines and Myanmar, and the farming techniques are continuously improving.
- The Silver or Gold Lipped pearl oyster is the largest living species, and is harvested for it’s Mother of Pearl as well as the Australian silver and white pearls, and the gold ones from the Philippines and Japan.
- Black Lipped pearl oysters are responsible for producing Tahitian pearls, which are usually ringed or grooved, with those imperfections actually adding distinction to jewelry as well as being immediately identifiable as real specimens.
- Saltwater pearls are usually found in shades of white, yellow, pink and cream, but have overtones in many shades, with the white/rose and pink/rose being the most highly prized.
- Freshwater pearls are grown in mussels in lakes, rivers and streams, and they now rival the marine mollusks in luster and color. They can grow very large, and the range of colors is as exciting as are the variations of shape.