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Top 15 Pearl Facts

Posted by Jonathan Holmes on

Top 15 Pearl Facts

Want to know more about the pearls within our pearl necklace, pearl ring, pearl bracelet or pearl jewellery sets, then carry on reading for our must know pearl facts. 

  1. The first cultured pearl was created on July 11th 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto.  The pearl created was hemispherical and was the first successful cultured pearl creation after many failed attempts.  The Japanese island the pearl was created on has since been renamed Mikimoto Pearl Island.
  2. Natural and cultured pearls are both created when a substance called nacre is produced in response to a foreign body or damage to the mollusc.
  3. Cultured pearls are created when foreign tissue is implanted into a mollusc from a donor oyster.
  4. Pearls are largely made from Calcium Carbonate.  As such they can be dissolved in a solution of vinegar (this might take some time, possibly days).
  5. The viable process of creating artificial pearls largely destroyed the economy of Kuwait, which was very much dependent on pearl fishing before the explosion of the oil industry and the discovery of Kuwait’s massive oil reserves.
  6. The word pearl, as with many English words, is derived from a Latin word.  In this case the Latin word for the thigh-bone, which was given to the thigh shaped oyster.
  7. Pearls come in a variety of shapes which are classed as: circled, oval, pear, drop, semi-round, round, button and baroque.
  8. Harvesting Pearls will not kill the mollusc, in fact the mollusc will be re-implanted again to produce even more pearls with every chance of being part of the next quality pearl necklace to hit the UK.
  9. Pearl colour originates from the colour of the inside of mollusc they are growing in.  The colours range from gold to white, through to purple and black.
  10. No two pearls are alike, every pearl is unique and contains imperfections.  Being unique is part of the charm of quality pearl jewellery. 
  11. Pearls are considered to the only gemstones to be made by living animals.
  12. The famous Jacques Cartier 5th Avenue store was purchased by trading in two pearl necklaces.
  13. Virtually every pearl harvested today comes from cultured pearls, which is good news for wild pearl producing molluscs which were largely devastated by the pearl fishing industry.
  14. The technique to farm pearls is known as “Periculure”.
  15. Perhaps the most famous pearl story originated from Cleopatra.  Legend tells us that Cleopatra bet Marc Antony that she could provide a banquet which cost more than the assets of some countries.  She won the bet by removing her pearl earrings and dissolving them in a glass of vinegar, which she then proceeded to drink.  At that time those pearl earrings are estimated to be worth around 10,000,000 sesterces or $30 million in today’s money.

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