from the French "perle" (pearl)
Pearls are one of the rarest gems in the world. A pearl is made of calcium carbonate
and is born inside the shell of a mollusk.
The most perfect natural and wild pearls are very rare and expensive, so there's been
an active industry of cultured oyster pearls and, of course, of imitation pearls.
Pearls have multiple functions: from jewelry and medicine to cosmetics these small
white-to-pink spherical pieces have been a synonym of value and perfection. The most
extraordinary pearls ever found have no human intervention.
Bivalves and clams are responsible for creating layers of nacre that will evolve to a
mature perfectly rounded pearl. There are saltwater pearls and freshwater pearl
Pearl farms mix natural pearl processing with human operations and techniques.
The most common pearls are white and show a metallic mirror-like luster. Pearl's
layers will deliver different reflection, refraction and light diffraction properties, from
gem to gem.
When the mollusk feels there's an intruder in the shell, it forms several tissue cells
around the attacker until a pearl is formed. The entire secretion process can last for
VALUE OF PEARL
Identifying valuable pearls is not as easy as it might appear, at first glance.
The center of the pearl has the answer to distinguish natural wild pearls from farmed
pearls. With a gemological X-Ray it is possible to separate these two types of pearls.
A simple school microscope may be useful to distinguish natural and cultured pearls
from imitation pearls.
Fine quality natural pearls are rare precious stones and can reach high prices in the
SYMBOLISM OF PEARL
Perfectly rounded pearls are closer to heaven because circles are a metaphor for the
"no beginning and no end" symbol of God. The Christian New Testament holds a
comparison between the Kingdom of Heaven and the "pearl of great price".
The Quran also refers that "God will admit those who believe and work righteous
deeds, to Gardens beneath which rivers flow: they shall be adorned therein with
bracelets of gold and pearls".
Pearls are symbol of purity, spirituality, honesty and wisdom. A pearl is also a lunar
PEARL, VIP AND CELEBRITIES
Pearl necklaces and pearl earrings have always been popular in the celebrity circle,
despite being associated with classic fashion and conservative business suits.
Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Paula Deen, Helen Mirren, Kate
Winslet, Oprah Winfrey, Katherine Heigl and Sandra Bullock have been showing fine
pearl jewelry in private parties and public events.
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