Perfect shining spheres. Lustrous baroque forms. Seductive strands, warm to the touch. Pearls are simply and purely organic.
Pearl is the birthstone for June and the gem of the third and thirtieth anniversaries.
Perhaps the best-loved gems of all time, pearls—natural and cultured—occur in a wide variety of colors. The most familiar are white and cream, but the palette of colors extends to every hue. Natural pearls form around a microscopic irritant in the bodies of certain mollusks. Cultured pearls are the result of the deliberate insertion of a bead or piece of tissue that the mollusk coats with nacre.
WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE
A Chinese historian writes about pearls for the first time.
653 FIFTH AVENUE
In 1917, Pierre Cartier traded a double strand of natural pearls for a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Kokichi Mikimoto successfully cultures a pearl in Japan.
Luster results from reflection of light rays off the pearl’s surface, and from concentric inner layers of nacre, like light bouncing off a convex mirror.
Imitation pearls are smooth when rubbed against your teeth, while natural or cultured pearls have a slightly rough texture.
Natural pearls can be separated from cultured pearls by taking X-rays to reveal their inner structures.
An assessment of the following characteristics determines the value of each type of pearl.