Pearls: a miraculous underwater creation

Pearls: a miraculous underwater creation

Classic & timeless, these are the first adjectives to come to mind when we’re trying to describe jewellery made with pearls. They’re considered by many as the utmost representation of graceful sophistication and at this point, we’re confident they’ll truly never go out of style.

The sophistication of pearls combined with diamonds with these bespoke earrings.

The sophistication of South Sea pearls combined with diamonds with these bespoke earrings.

Over the years, a few iconic ladies played a pivotal role in building their reputation, like Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Their effectiveness was monumental as they managed to increase sales of pearls drastically.

A beautiful bespoke bracelet with art deco style centre piece.

A beautiful bespoke bracelet with art deco style centre piece.

The fact is, fashion is cyclical and cinema and their glorious characters and stars certainly have a big part in stirring up desire and boosting demand. In fact, this rise has led to the cultivation of pearls in a considerable number.

What actually are pearls?

They are organic mineral deposits: the result of marine oysters and freshwater mussels’ natural defence against parasites. Basically, whenever an “outsider” attempts to enter their bodies, they will secrete layers of a substance that will then go on to produce mother-of-pearl, that works as a sort of added barrier to further protect them.

Custom made pearl and gems necklace

A striking combination of an Akoya pearl strand with delightfully coloured gems, in this custom-made necklace.

What are pearls made of?

Pearls are made of the very same substance as shells, mollusc’s exoskeleton. Either aragonite or calcium form their crystal structure alongside a matrix of molecules, including a vital protein named conchiolin. Layers and layers of such crystals end up constituting over 95% of a pearl or a shell. But if the explanation above makes it sound as if pearls and shells are the same thing rest assured they’re not!

Modular earrings with baroque (irregular shaped) pearl dangles.

Modular earrings with baroque (irregular shaped) pearl dangles.

Besides shape, they differ in how their layers are deposited. The substance that makes a shell are generated by a large organ on the backside of molluscs. Whereas within a “pearl sac” the same layers are deposited in inverse order, so fundamentally, pearls are inside-out shells, with the nacre on the outside! Even though they are clearly made from the same genetic instructions, one of them is obviously much more rare. And therefore, more valuable.

Gorgeous bespoke earrings with dark coloured pearls.

Gorgeous bespoke earrings with dark coloured Tahitian pearls.

As for their formation process, a foreign substance or “seed” enters an oyster and its natural reaction is to protect itself from this irritant by covering it with layers of the same nacre substance used to create its shell. After around two years the many layers will form a pearl. In cultured pearls the seed is artificially introduced to kickstart this process.

What creates different pearl colours?

The captivating realm of pearls reveals a spectrum of colours, each a testament to nature’s artistry. From the pristine white of Akoya pearls to the enigmatic depths of Tahitian pearls, the hues that grace these treasures are shaped by a symphony of factors that dance in harmonious union.

Within the ocean’s depths, molluscs bestow pearls with their unique colour palettes. The graceful Pinctada fucata oyster offers Akoya pearls, resplendent in milky white and creamy opulence. In contrast, the mysterious black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera oyster gifts us the captivating tapestry of Tahitian pearls—ebony hues that echo the ocean’s soul.

Bespoke Tahitian pearl earrings.

Bespoke Tahitian pearl earrings.

Water whispers secrets into pearls it cradles. Like an artist’s brushstrokes, water’s temperature, salinity, and nourishment shape pearls’ chromatic destiny. Fluctuations in these aqueous conditions mold pigments and minerals, painting a kaleidoscope of variation.

Layer upon layer of lustrous nacre envelopes the pearl, influencing its chromatic symphony. Thick, exquisite nacre grants pearls luminosity, allowing hues to shine brilliantly.

Nature’s touch leaves its mark on these radiant treasures. Organic substances grace the palette, enriching pearls with whispers of pink, purple, or peach—subtle nuances that awaken the heart.

Mineral alchemy reveals captivating enchantment. Within the mollusc, copper, iron, and other minerals dance, absorbed and imprinted in the nacre. They evoke a symphony of hues: tantalising blues, greens, and enigmatic metallic tints that transcend earthly realms.

Within the wondrous world of pearls, nature’s canvas unfolds, painting an iridescent tableau that captivates and ignites the imagination. The colours of these pearls are a testament to life’s whimsical symphony, where secrets blend with elements, yielding masterpieces that transcend mere adornment.

Bespoke golden toned pearl and diamond ring.

Bespoke golden toned South Sea pearl and diamond ring.

What’s the difference between fresh and salt water pearls?

In the enchanted realm of pearls, a duet unfolds between freshwater and saltwater gems, each possessing its own distinct charm. Let us delve into the artistic tapestry that sets them apart, unveiling a world of beauty and allure.

Freshwater pearls, born amidst the gentle embrace of freshwater mollusks, draw their essence from serene rivers, tranquil lakes, and ethereal ponds. Adorned with their baroque grace, these pearls delight in an array of enchanting sizes and hues. Their forms, like nature’s whimsy, are a symphony of asymmetry—offering the embrace of irregularity, be it the curves of an off-round wonder or the playful allure of a button-like treasure.

Baroque pearl necklace.

Baroque pearl custom made necklace. Double strands of beautifully irregular pearls accentuated with a colourful selection of gemstones.

In contrast, saltwater pearls emerge from the depths of marine mollusks, gracefully nurtured by the salt-kissed tides of oceans, seas, and bays. Within their opalescent realms, these pearls unveil a captivating symphony of near-round or perfectly rounded shapes. Their surfaces, akin to mirrors of the soul, mirror the light with an intensified lustre, a tribute to the ocean’s depths and the harmony of their creation.

Throughout history, saltwater pearls have held a lofty status, coveted for their rarity and divine allure. The majestic Akoya pearls, the ethereal South Sea pearls, and the enigmatic Tahitian pearls—these treasures have captured the imagination with their scarcity and radiance. Yet, in the realm of freshwater pearls, a revolution has unfurled. Advances in cultivation techniques have breathed new life into these gems, offering an expanded tapestry of colours and qualities, forever changing the landscape of pearl appreciation.

When it comes to the realm of cost, saltwater pearls have often held court as the regal choice. Their exclusivity, coupled with their celestial luminosity and perfectly symmetrical forms, commands a higher price. On the other hand, freshwater pearls, with their growing availability and kaleidoscope of enchanting shapes, offer a bridge to the beauty of pearls at a more accessible realm, where dreams may intertwine with reality.

In this ever-evolving dance between freshwater and saltwater pearls, let your heart be the compass that guides you. Embrace the mesmerising allure of freshwater’s irregular elegance or succumb to the enchantment of saltwater’s celestial perfection. For within the realm of pearls, artistry flourishes, and dreams come alive, adorning the world with an everlasting radiance.

Timeless jewels

Ultimately, pearls are an undeniable staple in modern jewellery that have been well loved for many generations.

Their rainbow-like shine & gentle milky lustre is absolutely perfect on its own: a timeless strand is as classic as it gets! But their many shapes and forms make them incredibly versatile and brilliant to be used in combination with other gemstones as well.

Personalised and timeless pearl earrings.

Personalised and timeless South Sea pearl earrings.