“WHAT’S IMPORTANT ABOUT PEARLS IS THE WOMAN WHO’S WEARING THEM!”
In short, virtually all pearls offered for sale are cultured pearls. Natural pearls, historically found in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, have grown to be extinct through over-fishing and pollution. Today, pearls are cultured around the world, with the most successful producers located in Japan, China, Australia and French Polynesia.
Fine cultured pearls are rare. Less than 50% of nucleated oysters actually produce a pearl, and of those, only about 20% produce pearls which are commercially marketable. Furthermore, less than 5% of these qualify as gem quality – the highest quality available.
“PEARLS ARE ALWAYS APPROPRIATE. HERE ARE 10 TYPES OF CULTURED PEARL NECKLACES.”
- CHOKER: A single strand 14 to 16 inches in length. The Choker is designed to rest on the collarbone.
- PRINCESS: A single strand 17 to 19 inches in length.
- THE MATINEE: A single strand 20 to 24 inches in length.
- OPERA: A single strand 28 to 36 inches in length – should fall below the bust line.
- ROPE: Any singles strand longer than an Opera. Ropes can be worn with shorteners, twisted, or knotted.
- DOG COLLAR: A multiple strand necklace that fits closely around the neck.
- BIB: A necklace of multiple strands of varying lengths so that the shorter strands fit higher around the neck than a longer strand (think Downton Abbey).
- TORSADE: A necklace of multiple strands twisted together and held with a special clasp. The most common type of Torsade is made with freshwater pearls.
- GRADUATED: A strand of pearls increasing in size in which the largest pearl is at the center, and the smallest are at the end.
- UNIFORM: A strand of pearls approximately the same size. There may be a slight difference in size between the center and end pearls.
“THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. YOU ARE THE PEARL.”
Because pearls are softer than many other gems, they should be stored in a soft fabric bag or tissue, and kept away from other jewelry. Diamonds, rubies and sapphires can scratch and abrade pearls. When removing the pearls, wipe them with a damp cloth. Pearls strands should be kept dry because moisture may cause the silk string to stretch, loosening the pearls. If your strand should get wet, lay it on a flat surface, blot it with a soft cloth, and allow it to dry before wearing again.
“I HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY PEARLS OF WISDOM!” – Linda Mandel