The beauty and magic of pearls have been a source of fascination and desire since their discovery in ancient times. Viewed as magic charms, symbols of purity and love, or sources of wisdom and power, pearls are one of the oldest known gems and have been revered by countless civilizations.

Legend has it that Cleopatra dissolved a large pearl in a glass of wine and drank it to impress Marc Antony with her wealth and power - a ploy that worked all too well. Knights in the Middle Ages wore pearls onto the battlefield to protect themselves from harm. Queen Elizabeth I so loved the white gems that she had them sewn on all her clothing and wore ropes of them around her neck. In addition to its fascinating beauty, the pearl occupies a unique spot in the world of precious gemstones. Instead of being found in a core of rock, a pearl is made over time by a living creature, an oyster.

The pearl begins its life as an irritant to the oyster. To protect itself, the oyster coats an intruding object or grain of sand with nacre, a crystalline substance that builds up over time, resulting in a shimmering, iridescent creation. The culturing process developed by man mimics nature. Pearl farmers implant a fine bead into the oyster where it cannot be expelled. The oyster does the rest and creates its lustrous masterpiece.

Types of Pearls
Akoya - This is the most familiar type of pearl sold in necklaces. Akoyas from Japan and China are grown in pearl oysters and are known for their shimmering beauty and warm colors which range form rose, cream and gold to silvery white and blue/gray.
South Sea - Large (10mm and up) cultured pearls grown in tropical and semi-tropical oysters in the South Seas and around the coast of Australia. their color ranges from silvery white to gold; they are quite costly due to their size and rarity.
Tahitian black - Large (10mm and up) cultured pearls grown in black-lipped oysters in French Polynesia. colors range from silvery gray and green to deep purple and black. Their large sizes and unique colors command premium prices.
Mabe - Large, hemispherical cultured pearls grown against the inside shells of oysters rather than in the oysters' bodies. Less expensive than round cultured pearls due to their half-round shape, they are most popular in earrings, rings and brooches.
Freshwater - Pearls cultivated in mussels, not oysters, in freshwater lakes and rivers in China, Japan and the United States. Due to their easy cultivation, freshwaters are fairly inexpensive. Shapes can be freeform, rice shaped, off-round or spherical and colors range from milky white, to peach, pink, and lavender.
Keshi - Also known as seed pearls, these tiny pearls can be as small as a grain of sand and form accidentally in many cultured pearl oysters.
Baroque - Cultured pearls that are irregularly-shaped, yet often lustrous and appealing. Due to their shapes, baroque pearls are often less costly than round, cultured pearls.
Caring for your Cultured Pearls

Remember that cultured pearls are precious jewels and should always be treated as such. Don't toss them in a purse or jewelry box where they can become scratched by metal or stones. Do treat your pearls gently; keep them in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when you put them away. Don't expose pearls to acid-based hair sprays, cosmetics or perfumes, or clean them with chemicals or abrasives. Do wash them with mild soap and water when you take them off. This will remove any traces of hair spray or perfume.

Always have pearls strung with a knot between each pearl to avoid abrasion and to prevent loss if the string should break. Be sure to bring your pearl necklace to your jeweler for restringing once a year, as cosmetics and ordinary wear can damage or stretch the nylon threads on which the pearls are strung.

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Herman's Creations Jewelers Limited.

Herman's Creations Jewelers East Inc.
21700 Greenfield. - Suite 324 - Oak Park, MI 48237 28885 Gratiot Ave. - Roseville, MI 48066
Phone: 248-968-0515 - Fax: 248-968-0519 Phone: 586-776-3200 - Fax: 586-776-3201