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Click on this wholesale registration link.
What is a freshwater pearl as opposed to a saltwater pearl and why do we choose to use mostly freshwater pearls?
The short answer to your question is: The reason we prefer the freshwater pearls are their durability and affordability. Because they are almost 100% nacre they are much more resilient than the saltwater pearls resisting chipping, wear, and degeneration. They also at this time are more aggressively priced thus we can bring them to you with a more affordable offering.
To answer this question more fully we must first discuss how a pearl is cultured (or created).
"Live creatures grow pearls, unlike gemstones or precious metals. A natural pearl forms when an irritant, such as parasite or a piece of sand, inadvertently enters the body of a particular type of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk secretes a smooth crystalline fluid, called "nacre" (the same secretion it uses for shell-building, composed for the most part of carbonated calcium), to coat the intruder. As long as the irritant is present, the mollusk continues to add layer upon layer of nacre on the irritant until a lustrous pearl has been created."
In the case of a cultured saltwater pearl a round bead "irritant" is inserted into a saltwater oyster thus starting the nacre-layering process. When cultivated these pearls are mostly round, clean and very lustrous but the resulting layer of nacre can vary in thickness.
In contrast the cultured freshwater pearl is stimulated to layer nacre by a small cut in the freshwater mussell's mantel and the insertion of a small piece of mussel mantel. The resulting pearl is 100% nacre, that is to say an 8.5mm freshwater pearl will have 8.5mm of nacre layering, however without the perfectly round bead nucleus to quide the growth process the pearls are rarely perfectly round. This can be good and bad. The unique shapes and sizes that freshwater pearls come in add interest and charm to the jewelry made from them.
In the last 10 years the Chinese freshwater pearl farmers have improved their "farming" techniques allowing the mussells to stay in the water for longer periods of time thus increasing the size and quality of their pearls. "When freshwater pearls are round, they are magnificent - the nacre is full, the molecular structure of the nacre is tightly bound and the lustre is spectacular." The "new" freshwater pearls can be round enough, clean enough and lustrous enough to rival any saltwater pearl.
If you want to know more, there are many sources available on the internet about the pearl industry. Click on our "links" section to see our favorites.
What lengths do the freshwater pearl necklaces come in?
These are the basic lengths that most of our pearl necklaces come in and this is a guide for choosing the necklace length that would be best for you.
Starting from the top to the bottom the lengths are 16", 18", 22," 27", and finally 37".
How do I know if my pearls are real?
A quick test is to rub the pearl lightly along the biting edge of your upper front teeth. If the pearls feel gritty or sandy, it is likely they are cultured or natural pearls. If they feel smooth, they are probably imitations (also referred to as faux or shell pearls). This quick test is not 100% accurate but is a good guide when the pearls are in question.
What is a shell pearl?
Also known as a miyorka(majorca) or faux pearl, a shell pearl is a manmade pearl. It is created by pulverizing the shell of an abalone(usually), melting it down to a molten state and then dipping a glass bead into it forming a pearl-like finish on whatever shape the bead is, most commonly - perfectly round.
This type of pearl is much more affordable for a bigger, rounder pearl. However, it is not as durable as the real freshwater pearl; therefore more care needs to be taken when wearing and storing these pearls.
How do I decide what color Pearl I want?
Many colors peek out at you from a freshwater pearl. That’s part of their charm. Yet pearls come in families of colors, some natural, some dyed. Here’s a guide to help you decide:
· Natural white pearls present hundreds of pale shades to even a casual glance. A whole world of hues exist between white and ivory, including yellow and champagne, and the pearl is nature’s way of sharing each of them with us all at the same time.
· It may surprise one to learn that bright pink is one of the natural colors in which pearls delight one’s eyes, ad its hues range from palest teacup pink to a translucent medium rose and lavender.
· Peach is yet another natural color of freshwater pearls. Just a tad over to the orange side from pink, the hue of peach is not common, ah, but neither is it rare. No special order required, only a special customer to appreciate them.
· Last but not least is the beautiful shade of natural gray. It has just a hint of pewter and the luster of white.
· We simplify dyed colors by calling them black, gray or brown and must apologize for the understatement. The variations and multiplicities of colors within each pearl, natural or dyed, is much of what makes pearls so popular and so precious.
· Black pearls appear a deep steel color highlighted with dark shades of blue, purple and/or silver. Look closely enough and one can also see hints of rose, taupe and gold.
· Dyed gray pearls gleam like round nuggets of silver or platinum on a glistening background of all the black and white hues nature provides. The look is dignified, formal and upscale.
· Brown sounds so plain; be not fooled. These pearls gleam in the hues of precious metals, from bronze to copper and especially to gold. So those of you looking to match your favorite gold jewelry with new pieces, take a good close look at the pearls we call brown or chocolate.