Fast Facts About Pearls

Fast Facts About Pearls

By: Vanscoy Diamonds

We’ve featured how to properly take care of your pearls previously in our article, “Keep Your Pearls Happy with a Little TLC.” Now for some fast facts as well as featuring some examples of our beautiful Greg Anthony mabe pearl collection.

1) Whether wild or cultured, gem quality pearls are almost always nacreous and iridescent as the shell they come from. Nacre is another term for mother-of-pearl and is the typically found on the inside of the mollusk shell.  Saying something has iridescence means the pearl appears to change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes.

2) The value of the pearls in jewelry is determined by a combination of the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry that are appropriate for the type of pearl under consideration. Among those attributes, luster is the most important differentiator of pearl quality according to jewelers.

3) Blister pearls or mabe/composite pearls, are a slight exception to the above description as the pearl is cultured against the shell it naturally grows with a flat side. The pearl is called a blister pearl until it is harvested where it goes through a reinforcement process due to the back side of the pearl being exposed. The nucleus is then removed and replaced with a resin. The back of the pearl is then capped with a piece of mother-of-pearl to complete the mabe pearl.

4) Though you should never rub a pearl against your teeth I saw this trick done on Antiques Road Show as a way to determine if the pearls were real. However, tooth enamel is harder than pearls and can scratch or damage them. Instead, VERY gently rub two of the pearls together. You should feel a very slight gritty texture when they are rubbed. Fake pearls will slide over each other smoothly.

5) Different lengths of pearl necklaces have special names. A collar, measuring 10 to 13 inches or 25 to 33 cm in length, sits directly against the throat and does not hang down the neck at all; collars are often made up of multiple strands of pearls. Pearl chokers, measuring 14 to 16 inches or 35 to 41 cm in length, nestle just at the base of the neck. A strand called a princess length, measuring 17 to 19 inches or 43 to 48 cm in length, comes down to or just below the collarbone. A matinee length, measuring 20 to 24 inches or 50 to 60 cm in length, falls just above the breasts. An opera length, measuring 28 to 35 inches or 70 to 90 cm in length, will be long enough to reach the breastbone or sternum of the wearer; and longer still, a pearl rope, measuring more than 45 inches or 115 cm in length, is any length that falls down farther than an opera.

Now that you have some fast facts about pearls here are some great mabe pearl jewelry sets that will make your choice of fashion accessories envied by numerous friends and colleagues.

Matching earrings and necklace always lends to that finished look that really pulls an outfit together.  This great sterling silver with yellow-gold accent drop earrings looks spectacular with this necklace also sterling silver with yellow-gold accents by designer Greg Anthony which has the additional charm of the antique costume jewelry, but without being too kitsch.

Or for a more delicate style than the necklace above, see this exquisite necklace segmented with pearls with a simple, large, white mabe pearl pendant. Notice how there is an extra ring above the pendant that attaches to the left and right side of the necklace? Your pendant will lay flat and your necklace clasp won’t creep around! Now to really cinch your selection from above together you can tie in this awesome sterling silver, hinged mabe pearl-cuffed bangle and…this superb sterling silver, white mabe pearl ring!

How awesome is that?!  This would look great for any classic business wardrobe. Beautiful, fashionable and stylish with these items made of sterling silver and with yellow-gold accents all these pieces will look great with any color suit.