Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gemstones: Freshwater pearl

In our Gemstones theme - today about freshwater pearls (Terry's choice - from Tapping Flamingo)

Freshwater pearls (with Swarovski crystals) necklace :: All Pretty Things
Pearls are not gems (rocks, minerals), they are organic material - born from live organisms (mussels). Natural pearls are created when a parasite or foreign matter enters the mussel and irritates it; as a protective mechanism, the mussel covers the irritant with layers and layers of nacre - producing the pearl.

Cultured pearls use the same mechanism, but the starting 'irritation' is man-made. A tissue or a bead is inserted in the mussels - which react naturally, and starts covering the irritant with layers and layers of nacre. In the freshwater mussels - a small piece of tissue is inserted: thus the process of covering it is lengthier than for the saltwater mussels, where a bead is inserted. A freshwater pearl will have a more baroque appearance (less perfect, not a round bead), but more layers of nacre, making it more durable. A bead-inserted pearl (saltwater) is more perfect in appearance, but has less layers of nacre - which can wear more easily (and leave you with a a non-shiny round bead).

There are pros and cons for each - make sure you know where your pearls come from before you buy!

Freshwater pearls (with Swarovski crystals) necklace & bracelet set :: All Pretty Things
Besides not being as round as saltwater pearls, freshwater pearls don't have the same sharp lustre. On the other hand, they come in a variety of natural colours - making them more appealing to the audience. They are also more durable, the many more layers of nacre making them resistant to chipping, breaking, and discoloration.

As meaning goes, people have been fascinated with pearls for eons. Chinese mention pearls before 2600 BC! There are many legends on how they formed. One speaks about a drop of rain falling from heavens and became the heart of the oyster. Another calls them 'the teardrops of the moon'.

The Bible mentions pearls as well (who didn't hear about 'the pearly gates'?!), while St. Augustin considers it the symbol of Jesus.

Pearls have become a symbol of purity and faith, honesty and dignity. They can have a different symbol, depending on their colour. White pearls symbolize purity, innocence and faith, thus being the main gem used in bridal jewelry. Gold or black pearls symbolize prosperity and success. Pink pearls are a symbol of heart, and the body and mind health.

Whatever your belief - there is one fact: pearls are one of the most beautiful gems! Elegant and simple, they make for amazing jewelry and adornments.

1 comment:

  1. you have to add some more images in it so that we can get more information about prety things from here.freshwater pearl


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!