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 Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater Pearls


Pearls are primarily created by bivalve mollusks, often from the oyster family. In nature, irritants such as a small pebble or even a grain of sand get trapped in the oyster's shell and the creatures natural reaction is to build up beautiful layers of "nacre" which is primarily comprised of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. These substances bind the microcrystals around the irritant concentrically.

Pearls are created in nature, but since the 20th century, pearls have been cultured by human beings intentionally to produce beautiful salt water and freshwater pearls.  Although the process of how the mollusks create the pearls is essentially the same, the irritants are added intentionally, leaving nothing to chance, in order to make sure that a pearl will result.  Cultured pearls can be made in a variety of shapes as different types of starter beads can be used to make that possible.  Cultured pearls now make up approximately 90% of the pearl trade today and has allowed millions of women to enjoy the luxury of wearing them.

Pearls should be stored carefully to avoid scratching them by avoiding direct contact with other gemstones or metals.  They are, though, very compact which makes it is difficult to crush them.

Sea and Freshwater are the main categories of pearls, but there are other common names to the types of pearls commonly found in jewelry.  Here are a few of them:

Round Pearls:  Need we say more. Due to their more perfect shape, they are often the most valuable type of pearl.

Near Round Pearls:  Not quite perfect, but beautiful.

Oval Pearls:  These have ends that are more narrow than their centers.

Drop Pearls:  Named due to their almost tear drop shape.

Button Pearls: These have flattened, button-like shapes and show the sheen dramatically.

Baroque Pearls:  This describes pearls with irregular surfaces and is most common with freshwater pearls.

Stick Pearls
Stick Pearls:  Named for their shape, the elongated design really shows of the luster of the nacre layers.

Biwa Pearls
Biwa Pearls:  Have this distinctive and someone chaotic appearance.

Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian Pearls:
  These are generally larger pearls of gray to black coloring which are quite prized and take years to develop.  They can be quite expensive for the finest specimens.

Deposits are obtained from oceans, lakes and streams around the world.

Color:  White, pink, silver, green, black, blue, cream, golden color
Mohs' Hardness Scale: 2.5 to 4.5
Density:  2.60 to 2.5
Transparency:  Translucent to opaque


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