Tuesday, July 26, 2005

How Do I Care For My Pearls?

Pearls are one of the more fragile and delicate gems, so proper care must be exercised to prolong the life and enjoyment of your pearls. You should:
  1. Store your pearls separately from other jewelry, ideally in a soft cloth pouch, linen cloth, or soft lined jewelry box. Do not store your pearls in a plastic bag or an extremely dry place (next to a heater) as these could cause your pearls to become brittle or crack.
  2. Minimize contact with personal products including makeup, perfume, hairspray, and other personal care products; use personal care products first before putting on pearls.
  3. Minimize contact with perspiration as your natural acids can harm a pearl's surface over time and dull the luster. To minimize this, remove pearls before exercising or doing strenuous activity.
  4. When you take your pearls off, gently clean them with a soft damp non-abrasive cloth.
  5. Periodically wash your pearls in soapy water using a mild liquid soap (not a detergent). Once washed, gently rinse and place on soft towel or cloth to dry. Do not hang pearls to dry as this may stretch the silk thread.
  6. Have your pearls restrung periodically.

For more information, please see: http://www.selectpearls.com/pearls/pcare.html

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Are pearls formed from grains of sand?

Although it is widely believed that pearls are formed from a grain of sand lodged in a mollusk, this is more myth than reality. Instead, a pearl typically forms when an irritant such as a parasite, wayward food particle or other organic matter becomes trapped in the mollusk. This causes the mollusk to coat the object with layers of aragonite and conchiolin, forming a pearl.

With cultured pearls, instead of waiting for a natural irritant, a pearl farmer insets an irritant, such as a mother-of-pearl bead, into the tissue of a pearl bearing mollusk. Once inserted, a cultured pearl grows the same way as a natural pearl.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

How Do I Know If My Pearls Are Real?

There area number of tests you can do to help determine if your pearls are real. First, if you take one of the pearls and rub it gently against the biting edge of your front teeth and feel a gritty feeling, the pearl is probably real. Second, if possible, find a pearl that you can see into the drill hole (on a necklace or bracelet, look for a where the knot between the pearls is more stretched). Look into the drill hole. If you can make out a nucleus, chances are it is a cultured, real pearl. As a third test, you can examine the luster of the pearl. The surface of a real pearl has a deep luster that comes from within the pearl. This can usually be easily differentiated from a ceramic or glass pearl that only has a surface shine.

Of course, none of these tests will give you an absolute answer as some of these can be faked to a certain degree. The best way to confirm your pearls are authentic is to have them evaluated by a pearl expert - ideally a person who is GIA certified in pearls.

Monday, June 06, 2005

What are pearl overtones?

When examining the color of a pearl, we focus on two distinct attributes: body color and overtone color.

Body color is the dominant base color of the pearl. Common base colors include white, black, or yellow. For example, a White Akoya necklace or Black Tahitian earrings.

Overtone is the secondary color or tint of the pearl. Common overtones include (depending on the pearl) ivory, silver, rose, peacock, and green. For example, a White Akoya necklace with a rose overtone or Black Tahitian earrings with a peacock overtone.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Starting This Pearl Jewellery Blog...

As most new bloggers, the idea of an open forum, being able to express some thoughts, and provide information was too much to resist. I hope to use this as a reference or FAQ around pearls. I receive many questions a day through my web site http://www.selectpearls.com, and this provides a place to capture the answers where others may benefit.

To the journey!