Gemstones -- Pearl
Unlike crystals such as Emeralds
and Rubies, Pearls are Organic gemstones. Pearls grow inside
mollusks, that create the pearls by secreting concentric layers
of nacre onto an irritant introduced into the sea creature.
The Pearls you see today are Cultured Pearls, meaning that human
beings, and not random events, introduce tiny beads into the
mollusks in order to stimulate the creation of this gemstone.
Pearls are valued for their lustrous sheen, unique colors, and
smooth surface. There are four varieties of Pearls, each of
which grows in a different kind of mollusk.
Akoya: These are the most lustrous
of all the Pearl varieties. Most valued are the white Akoya,
with reflections that are bright, sharp, and distinct, almost
mirror-like. They are produced mainly in Japan and China.
South Sea: South Sea Pearls tend
to be the largest of the Pearl varieties. They come from Australia,
Indonesia, and the Philippines. They have a soft, satiny luster,
rather than the mirror-like surface of the Akoya. They come
in an array of colors, including white, and are especially valued
for the more rare colors such as the rich, Golden South Sea
Tahitian: Tahitian Pearls are
often known as Black Pearls, but they come in an array of beautiful
shades, from silver tones, to greenish, bluish, and purplish.
They are cultivated in French Polynesia. They also can be grown
quite large, as with South Sea Pearls. The subtle variations
in their colors, even in a single Pearl, are a delight to the
Freshwater: Freshwater Pearls
are cultivated in China. They are called Freshwater in comparison
to the other varieties of Pearls which are grown in Saltwater.
Freshwater Pearls come in many colors, including white, and
are becoming known for a variety of shades of pastel in more
recent years. They tend to be a bit more affordable than the
Pearls are valued along a number
of different dimensions. Here are some of the value factors
that are considered.