Learn More About Pearls


Do You Know Enough About Pearls?

 

pearls

Pearls have become an essential accessory in a woman’s wardrobe, and with good reason, proclaiming understated elegance.

Essentially a gemstone, the Pearl is unique, as it is the only one obtained from a living creature. Ready to adorn with no polishing or cutting needed – a true marvel of nature!

Although most Pearls are found in Oysters, other Shells, Abalone, Mussels and Clams create Pearls too.

A Pearl is formed when a tiny particle like a grain of sand lodges deep inside a mollusk shell, becoming an irritant to the Oyster. Thereafter, the Oyster naturally starts producing and coating the grain with nacre (composed of Aragonite crystals and an organic binding substance called Conchiolin), forming thin, curved layers.


Natural Pearls have become a rarity today, with maybe just one among millions of shellfish producing a Pearl. However, there is hope for lovers of Pearl jewelry with freely available and affordably priced farm-grown or cultured Pearls.


Pearl Facts

Color – Pearls have a distinctive body color as well as an iridescent, rainbow-like overtone. This overtone is a result of the diffraction of light at the edge of each overlapping layer of Aragonite, that adds a charming and unique dimension to this gemstone.

White Pearls are, by far, the most popular. But Pearls do occur in gray, green, blue-green, dark blue and bronze, and they are commonly known as Black Pearls.

Certain varieties of Pearls are considered as superior and therefore come at a higher price. They are:

Akoya white Pearls with pink overtones
Blue Akoyas are extremely rare
Golden South Sea Pearls
Tahitian Black Pearls with green and pink, “chocolate” and “pistachio” overtones


Most Pearls are bleached and or permanently dyed to achieve desired colors.

Shape – Round Pearls are considered premium quality and carry a price tag to match. Ovals tend to be less pricey, but are almost as elegant as the round Pearls when set in jewelry. Other unusually shaped, unique Pearls are gaining in popularity with their uniqueness.


Luster – Pearls should have a high luster, which is something that needs to be seen in person before buying Pearls or Pearl jewelry.



Pearls – The Other Side

Pearls are the birthstone for June. A favorite with brides, especially white Pearls, thanks to their pure and simple appearance.

Believed to play a major role in strengthening engagements and affection, Pearls make a beautiful gift of love.
Pearls are also believed to channel the energies of good luck, protection, money and love.



Pearl Jewelry For You

Through the ages Pearls have been acknowledged as an undeniably feminine gemstone, in spite of efforts to make Pearl jewelry desirable to men too. Be it as wedding jewelry, or simply as an elegant and chic accessory, Pearls are an essential element of a stylish woman’s wardrobe.



The Ashanti Jewels collections celebrate the Pearl in all its purity, in a variety of colors. From dangle style Pearl earrings to Pearl pendants, the options are amazing. Browse and select from the affordable collection of stunning Pearl creations and prepare to complement those favorite outfits with accessories handcrafted with love.

 

Name

Pearl

Varieties

Conch Pearl, Freshwater PearlSaltwater Pearl

Crystallography 

Amorphous. The aragonite in the nacre of a pearl is orthorhombic, with minute crystals radially oriented and a concentric structure.

Colors 

Pearl color is the result of body color and an overtone color or orient present as a lustrous sheen. The Orient is the color seen as reflected by a diffuse light source. The rest of the color is due to the body color. There are sometimes two overtone colors, one seen on the surface in full view, the other at the edge. See “Identifying Characteristics” below for more information.

Luster 

Pearly, dull.

Polish Luster 

Dull to nearly metallic.

Fracture Luster 

Dull to pearly.

Fracture 

Uneven. Roughness is variable.

Hardness 

2.5 - 4.5

Specific Gravity 

2.6 – 2.78; conch pearls, 2.85; cultured pearls, 2.72 - 2.78, that is, heavier than most naturals. However, this is NOT a diagnostic test.

Birefringence 

0.155 – 0.156 (aragonite)

Cleavage 

None

Dispersion 

None

Heat Sensitivity

Yes

Luminescence 

See “Identifying Characteristics”

Wearability 

Good to poor.

Transparency 

Translucent to opaque.

Phenomena

Orient

Birthstone 

June

Formula

CaCO3 (aragonite, the outer layer) about 82-86%, conchiolin 10-14%, water 2%. These proportions are variable.

Pleochroism 

None

Optics 

Aggregate, if not opaque. N = 1.53-1.69, but not observed; usually vague shadow edge in this range

Etymology

From the Old French perle, Medieval Latin perla, and Classical Latin pernula or perna for pearl.

Occurrence

Formed within various species of living bivalve mollusks in both salt and freshwater.

 

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