A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries.
Formation of Pearl:
Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain mollusks as a defence mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside the shell or an attack from outside that injures the mantle tissue. The mollusk’s mantle (protective membrane) deposits layers of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite (polymorphs with the same chemical formula, but different crystal structures) held together by an organic horn-like compound called conchiolin as:
Natural pearls are nearly 100% calcium carbonate and conchiolin. It is thought that natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, irritated by the intruder, forms a pearl sac of external mantle tissue cells and secretes the calcium carbonate to cover the irritant. This secretion process is repeated many times, thus producing a pearl. Natural pearls come in many shapes, with perfectly round ones being comparatively rare.
Cultured pearls are the response of the shell to a tissue implant. A tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell, causing a pearl sac to form into which the tissue precipitates calcium carbonate. There are a number of methods for producing cultured pearlsusing fresh water or seawater shells, transplanting the graft into the mantle or into the gonad, and adding a spherical bead as a nucleus. Most saltwater cultured pearls are grown with beads. Trade names of cultured pearls are Akoya, white or golden South sea, and black Tahitian. Most beadless cultured pearls are mantle-grown in freshwater shells in China, and are known as freshwater cultured pearls.
Some imitation pearls (also called shell pearls) are simply made of mother-of-pearl, coral or conch shell, while others are made from glass and are coated with a solution containing fish scales called essence d’Orient. Although imitation pearls look the part, they do not have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls and their luster will also dim greatly
4. Akoya Pearl:
Akopya pearls are found only in Japan, China and Vietnam. Japanese Akoya pearl farms are known for their emphasis on quality over quantity. Overtone colors of Akoya pearls include white, cream, rose, silver and green. Akoya pearl sizes range from less than 5mm to 10mm. They range in size from 9mm to 20mm and can be naturally white, cream or golden in color.
5. Salt water Pearls:
These include the akoya cultured pearls grown in Japanese and Chinese waters these pearls are grown in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds predominately in China. Although many are white and resemble the akoya cultured pearls in shape and size, they can also be produced in various shapes and in an array of pastel colors.
Shapes of Pearls:
Pearls come in eight basic shapes: round, semi round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque, and circled. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable shape. 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 back half of the pearl is covered, making it look like a larger, rounder pearl. Drop and pear shaped pearls are sometimes referred to as tear drop pearls and are most often seen in earrings, pendants, or as a center pearl in a necklace. Baroque pearls have a different appeal, they are often highly irregular with unique and interesting shapes. They are also commonly seen in necklaces.
Colors of Pearls:
Pearls come in eight basic shapes: round, semi-round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque and circled. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable shape. 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 back half of the pearl is covered, making it look like a larger, rounder pearl. Drop and pear shaped pearls are sometimes referred to as teardrop pearls and are most often seen in earrings, pendants or as a center pearl in a necklace. Baroque pearls have a different appeal, they are often highly irregular with unique and interesting shapes. They are also commonly seen in necklaces.
Pearls in Jewellery:
Pearl is mixed to different types of metals to make beautiful designs of jewelleries as:
Pearl Gold Jewellery:
This type of jewellery is made to mix gold metal with pearl. Now a days pearl gold jewellery is in trend and most of women would like to wear pearl gold jewellery in any function weather it is wedding or engagement.
Diamond Pearl Jewellery:
This type of jewellery is made by mixing of diamond with pearl. Now a days pearl diamond jewellery is in trend. This type of jewellery is worn by Bollywood actresses and Indian bridals also on their wedding day.
Kundan Pearl jewellery:
Kundan pearl jewellery is beautiful combination of kundan and pearls. Now a days every women and girl like to wear pearl kundan jewellery in any function weather it is wedding or engagement party.
Pearl Stone Jewellery:
This type of jewellery is made by mixing of different types of stones like rubby, kundan and gemstones with pearls. Pearl stone jewellery is now a latest fashion in modern jewellery. Pearl stone jewellery is worn by every women and Indian bridals also.
South Indian Style Pearl Jewellery:
In south India the jewellery designs are temple designs in that God and Goddess images are made on Gold metal is mostly used in south Indian jewelleries. Now a days latest trend in south Indian jewellery is that pearls are combined with gold metal for making modern designs jewellery.
Pearls are used in making of different types of jewellery. Bracelets are made from pearls are beautiful and now a days in fashion. Every women would like to wear pearl bracelet in office and Indian bridal bracelets are also available in pearls.
Pearl Finger Rings:
Different type of finger rings are made by pearls. Designer pearl rings are worn by every office going women and girl. Now a days Indian bridals also wear pearl rings on her wedding day.
Pearl Long Chain Necklace:
Now a days long chain style necklace designs are in trend. In traditional Indian functions like wedding and festivals women like to wear long chain necklaces of pearl studded.
Pearl Anklet: Anklets designs are also made from pearls. Latest fashion trend in anklet is pearl anklet. Now a days every women wear pearl ankle whether she is going office or college.