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Pearl Jewelry – Gift From Ocean

The magnificent luster and delicate translucence of the layers of a pearl imparts an exquisite charm to it. It has therefore been valued as a precious gemstone since ages. The value of the pearl in jewelry is determined by a combination of all the attributes i.e. the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry. Among those attributes, the most important factor of pearl quality according to jewelers is luster. If however for the pearls under consideration, all the factors are equal, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. The most precious pearls are the large, perfectly round pearls. They are rare and are therefore highly valued. Usually the shape of a pearl decides as to which jewellery item it is suited for. Teardrop-shaped pearls are used in pendants and earrings. Irregular shaped pearls are often used in necklaces. The variety of designs in pearl jewelry is innumerable.

Pearls are found in eight basic shapes: round, semi-round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque, and ringed. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most expensive, and are generally used in necklaces, or strings of pearls. Semi-rounds are also used in necklaces or in pieces where the shape of the pearl can be disguised to look like it is a perfectly round pearl. Button pearls are like a slightly flattened round pearl and can also make a necklace, but are more often used in single pendants or earrings where the rear half of the pearl is covered, making it look like a larger, round pearl. Drop and pear shaped pearls are sometimes referred to as teardrop pearls and are most often used in earrings, pendants, or as a center pearl in a necklace. Baroque pearls have irregular shapes and this is what makes them unique and interesting. The appeal of baroque pearls lies in the fact that they do not have standard shapes. Generally they are used to make necklaces. Ringed pearls are characterized by concentric ridges, or rings, around the body of the pearl. All varieties of pearls have their own charm and can be put to several imaginative uses while making jewelry.

In fact, natural pearls are much more valuable than cultured pearls because of their rarity. Imitation pearls are the least expensive. To check whether a pearl is natural or cultured we have to perform an X- ray on the pearl. Cultured pearls will show a perfectly rounded core whereas naturals will have an irregular core. This is because when a pearl is to be cultured the farmers insert the grit, (usually a polished piece of mussel shell); it is always perfectly round, so as to produce a more expensive, perfectly round pearl. If the centre is not perfectly round, the jeweler can recognize that it is genuine, and will rate it at a higher value. Jewelers can easily identify imitation pearls. Some imitation pearls are simply made of mother-of-pearl, coral or conch, while others are made from glass and are coated with a solution containing fish scales called essence d’Orient. Imitation pearls may look good initially but they do not have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls, and will lose their luster with the passage of time.

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