Once upon a time, long, long ago, pearls were only for royalty and the very, very wealthy, as they were extremely rare and hard to come by. Today they are enjoyed the world over.
After years of trying to perfect the first cultured pearl, Mikimoto Kōkichi did so in 1917. The only pearls one could buy up to that time were natural, randomly plucked from an oyster.
Because of Mikimoto’s drive and determination everyone can enjoy pearls on their wedding day, anniversary, or any day they feel the desire to throw on a classic pearl necklace! They make a great birthday gift anytime of year but especially in June as it is the birthstone.
“I favor pearls on screen and in my private life.” Grace Kelly
A natural pearl is formed by an irritant getting lodged in a mussel or oyster. This could be a piece of shell, grain of sand or a tiny water traveling insect. Since this foreign object is irksome to the mussel or oyster, it then needs to protect itself. It produces nacre, a lustrous layer that coats the irritant. Thus over time and many layers of nacre, a pearl is born. As long as the pearl remains in the mussel or oyster, it will continue to excrete nacre, layer after layer on the pearl.
Since this is a random act of nature, natural pearls are extremely rare and expensive. Most of the pearls on the market today are cultured. A cultured pearl is created in much the same way as the natural pearl. The difference being that a person places an irritant (generally a bead of mother of pearl) inside the mussel or oyster instead of happenstance. There are pearl farms in Japan, the US and China.
“Pearls are always appropriate.” Jackie Kennedy
How to Wear Pearls
Most often a simple string of white pearls will give an outfit a touch of class as pearls continue to be the go-to accessory for fancy occasions. But fresh water and fun faux pearls can give a girl many options on how to incorporate them into one’s personal style.
Coming in all colors of the rainbow and with the ability to wear several at once the options are endless. One thing is for certain, pearls will never be out of fashion. Don’t follow the rules: wear pearls however you like!
“A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” Coco Chanel
As with all your fabulous jewellery pieces your pearl jewellery should be the last thing you put on when getting ready and the first thing you take off when the party is over. Store your pearls wrapped in a soft cloth or pouch to avoid them becoming scratched.
Clean your pearl jewellery with a damp soft cloth. As with all jewellery, avoid applying hair spray, cosmetics or lotions before putting on pearls, as chemicals in these products can damage your fabulous pearl wonders.