Interesting Facts about Pearls

Interesting Facts about Pearls

Who doesn’t just love pearl jewelry? Pearls are classy and absolutely wonderful to wear. In my opinion all you lovely ladies out there should have at least one pearl jewelry in your jewelry box. And maybe you do, because let’s face it, who can resist pearls? But, what do you know about those gorgeous pearls you wear with such pleasure? There are some very interesting facts about pearls you should definitely know of. So, let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating facts about these amazing gemstones:

  • Pearls are the only gemstone made by living animals.
  • Pearls have a smooth lustrous round structure having a brilliant luster - with varying tints, found inside the shell of a mollusk, like an oyster or clam. Pearls are formed as a result of a secretion of a shelly substance around some irritating foreign particle.
  • Natural Pearls are either saltwater found in gulfs, seas and oceans or freshwater pearls found in rivers and lakes.
  • The origin of the name Pearl is derived from the Latin word ‘pirum’ and it means ‘pear’- reflecting the shape of the gem.
  • Harvesting pearls from mollusks does not kill the animals, because they can be re-implanted and used to make more pearls.
  • Pearls can be found in a various natural colors and shades - the color of the pearl is determined by the type of oyster or mussel and also by the geographical location of the oyster or clam.
  • Akoya, or saltwater pearls come from oysters, however freshwater pearls generally come from mussels.
  • Pearls get their color from the inside of the shell in which they are actually growing. The colors range from white to gold, and from purple to black.
  • The natural colors of pearls are white, pink pearls, lilac, cream, grey, black and gold.
  • Basically all pearls today are "cultured" or "cultivated" – as harvesting "natural" pearls was compromised by water pollution, tsunamis, as well as other phenomena that made it quite hard to leave the oysters safely in the water long enough to grow sizeable pearls.
  • Each pearl is unique - no two pearls are alike, and no pearl is flawless.
  • The color is primarily determined and caused by the gem's selective absorption of certain wavelengths of light and it’s called the body color.
  • Pearls are known to be the Wedding anniversary gemstone and are given as gifts for the 1st, 12th and 30th year of marriage.
  • The oldest known pearl jewelry fragment was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC.
  • South Sea pearls are distinguished for their gold colors and Tahitian pearls are famous for their natural black colors.
  • The term for Pearl farming is: "Periculture."
  • It seems that in 1916, Jacques Cartier bought his 5th Avenue store by trading two pearl necklaces for the land.
  • Natural Pearls can be found in the waters of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar, the South Pacific, the Gulf of California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast of Mexico, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Are there more interesting facts about pearls we may have left out? Please share with us if you know more facts about this lovely gemstone.