Pearls are coveted jewels. However, they are also hard masses that grow inside the shells of live mollusks. Although the most common hues are white and black, there are some unusual shadings, such as pink and green variations. Perfectly round pearls are very unusual and therefore very costly. Other shapes are drop, baroque, button and pear, to name a few.
Pearls are valued in part for their rarity. Although there are thousands of mollusk species, less than two dozen are able to make pearls and of that small number only a small percentage make pearls of a girth that would be useful to create jewelry.
Pearls get their vaunted luminescence from nacre, which is a highly resilient, membranous and iridescent substance which the mollusk will overlay on top of a parasite that enters in under its mantle and adheres itself to its shell. As long as the mollusk survives it will continue to cover the parasite in further coats of the shiny nacre to protect itself from the irritant.
Another factor which historically made pearls rare was the method of harvest. Divers would seek out mollusks in riverbeds and pry open the shells. It was not unusual to have a mere three pearls as a total take from a three ton haul of mollusks.
Today, there are pearl farms and breeding programs, which tilt the odds considerably in the favor of a sizeable pearl haul. Freshwater, or cultured pearls, are not deemed as valuable as other pearls. Lab-made pearls, which are made in factories and from mollusk shells, are not at all valuable, except as attractive costume jewelry.
- Pearls are hard to grade in terms of value as there is no set grading scale for them.
- Pearls are beautiful when in the correct set of jewelry pieces and woman usually love them.
- Pearls are unique and not many people actually have them on hand at their disposal.
“Alexandrite and moonstone are also birthstones for June, however, the pearl is the most popular birthstone used for those celebrating their birthday in June. You can learn more about the history of the pearl, the properties of the pearl, where pearls are found, how to care for pearl jewelry, and the largest pearls found at our June Birthstone page.”
Read more: https://jewelryinfoplace.com/pearls/