February 2023

The 5-Minute Essential History of Pearls

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The romance of humankind with pearls is a very old saga. Pearls were among the very first gemstones to be identified by men and used so. Compared to other precious metals and gems, pearls were relatively easier to procure. All one had to do was look for them in oysters which, in the right places, were easy to find and even easier to crack open. This certainly was a lot simpler than descending into deep rocky mines in search of gems.

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Pearls also had the distinct advantage of being ready to use from the very moment of their discovery. In other words, there was no need to cut or polish them. Mother Nature produces pearls with all their beauty and luster already present. It requires almost no effort to ‘prepare’ them for the buyer.

The birth of a pearl is also nothing short of a natural miracle. It takes years to produce one, and their diversity is truly amazing. A natural pearl begins its life as a foreign object, such as a parasite or piece of sand or gravel that accidentally lodges itself in an oyster’s soft inner body. As part of a natural defense response, the oyster starts depositing layer upon layer of nacre on the foreign body. This crystallizes over time and forms the pearl.

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All these factors have contributed towards giving pearls a unique place in the world of gemstones and jewels. After all, where else can one find such a spellbinding combination of lustrous nacre and rainbow hues?

Pearls have always been in high demand. Originally associated with the royalty and the aristocracy, pearls in recent years have become popular among the general masses as well. This has been made possible by the emergence of the practice of pearl cultivation. Nowadays, pearls are artificially cultivated in large quantities by pearl harvesters. Few search for naturally occurring pearls these days as they are not only hard to come by, but are also very expensive.

Cultured pearls are among the most frequently used in today’s world. They have emerged as the foundation of every woman’s jewelry wardrobe. Fashionable, classy and feminine, cultured pearls truly enhance a woman’s palette of styles like no other gemstone. Let’s face it, the appeal and charm of a pearl strand is an enduring one, something that has stood the test of time and will continue to hold attention for many more ages to come.

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