Pearl Education

  1. Pearl Care Guide: How to Clean and Maintain Your Pearl Jewellery

    Pearl Care Guide: How to Clean and Maintain Your Pearl Jewellery

    Pearl Jewellery Care Guide: How to Clean and Maintain Your Precious Gems

    Pearl jewellery is a symbol of timeless elegance, and at Pearl Gallery, we understand how important it is to preserve the beauty and lustre of your treasured pearls. With our handcrafted pieces, we aim to provide you with stunning jewellery that will last a lifetime. In this fun and informative guide, we'll share essential tips on cleaning and maintaining your pearl jewellery to ensure their lasting radiance.

    Understanding the Unique Nature of Pearls

    Pearls are delicate organic gems formed within oysters or molluscs, and they require special care compared to other gemstones. They are sensitive to chemicals, humidity, and temperature changes, which can affect their appearance and durability.

    Simple Tips for Pearl Jewellery Care

    Keeping your pearls in pristine condition doesn't have to be a daunting task. Here are some easy, yet effective tips to help you protect and care for your pearl jewellery.

    • Wear with care: Always put on your pearl jewellery after applying makeup, perfume, and hair products. These substances can damage the pearl's surface and affect its lustre.
    • Store safely: Store your pearl jewellery in a soft pouch or lined jewellery box, separate from other pieces to prevent scratches. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or humidity.
    • Wipe after wear: Gently wipe your pearls with a soft, damp cloth after each wear to remove body oils and dirt. This helps maintain their natural beauty and prolongs their life.
    • Avoid chemicals: Never use harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners to clean your pearls. These can cause damage to the nacre, the outer layer of the pearl.

    How to Clean Your Pearl Jewellery

    Regular cleaning of your pearl jewellery is crucial for maintaining their lustre and beauty. Follow these simple steps for a safe and effective cleaning process:

    1. Prepare a solution: Mix a few drops of mild soap with lukewarm water in a small bowl.
    2. Gently clean: Dip a soft cloth or a gentle brush into the soapy water, and carefully clean your pearls, making sure not to submerge them in water.
    3. Rinse: Dampen another soft cloth with clean water and gently wipe the pearls to remove any soap residue.
    4. Dry: Lay your pearls on a soft, absorbent towel to air dry completely before storing them.

    Preserve the Timeless Elegance of Your Pearl Gallery Jewellery

    With proper care and maintenance, your exquisite pearl jewellery from Pearl Gallery will

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  2. Discovering the Allure of Pearls: A Journey Through Time, Culture, and Modern Elegance

    Trevor Ellis Gemologist, Pearl Specialist

    Established in 2003, Pearl Gallery is a proud, independent British jewellers located in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. With 20 years of expertise spanning two family generations, our pearl specialist jewellers remain privately owned and run today by the same passionate Ellis Family.

    Our Founder: Trevor Ellis

    Trevor Ellis, a highly accomplished gemmologist, founded Pearl Gallery after studying Gemmology in college and making a name for himself as a top salesman for a German jewellery company. His travels across South Asia enabled him to forge strong connections with pearl farmers and traders. These relationships allowed Trevor to import high-quality pearls at lower prices than typical retailers, which he passed on to Pearl Gallery's customers.

    Thanks to Trevor's commitment to excellent customer service and keen attention to detail, Pearl Gallery quickly gained a reputation as a trusted and respected business in the pearl industry.

    Meet Our Co-Founder: Julie Ellis

    Julie Ellis, co-founder of Pearl Gallery, is an incredibly skilled craftswoman renowned for her expertise in pearl threading and necklace repairs. Her passion for pearls and unwavering attention to detail shine through in the beautiful jewellery pieces she creates. In addition to designing stunning pearl creations, Julie is responsible for training and managing the Pearl Gallery team.

    Julie's natural leadership skills, kindness, and dedication to providing top-notch customer service have been integral to the success of Pearl Gallery. She takes great pride in sharing her passion for pearls with others.

    The Next Generation: Luke Ellis

    As Pearl Gallery flourished, Trevor and Julie's son, Luke, developed a keen interest in pearls and joined the family business. Under the expert guidance of his parents, Luke honed his skills and eventually took over

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  3. Freshwater Pearls: Unveiling the Charm of Nature's Underwater Gems

    Freshwater Pearls: Unveiling the Charm of Nature's Underwater Gems

    Freshwater pearls are some of nature's most enchanting treasures. Their lustrous allure and versatile appeal have captivated the hearts of jewellery enthusiasts for centuries. Sourced from freshwater mussels that inhabit rivers, lakes, and ponds, these pearls are celebrated for their diverse shapes, colours, and sizes. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the world of freshwater pearls, exploring their formation, harvesting, characteristics, and how to choose the perfect piece for your collection.

    Formation and Harvesting:

    The Formation Process

    Freshwater pearls are formed when a foreign particle enters a freshwater mussel. As a natural defence mechanism, the mussel secretes layers of nacre around the irritant to form a pearl. Unlike saltwater pearls, which typically rely on a bead nucleus, freshwater pearls are predominantly composed of solid nacre. This gives them their signature lustrous appearance and makes them more durable.

    Harvesting Techniques

    Pearl farmers have cultivated freshwater pearls since ancient times. Today, China is the largest producer, with the majority of farms located around the Triangle of Pearl River in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui. Farmers introduce a small piece of mantle tissue from a donor mussel into the host mussel, which triggers the nacre secretion process. This technique, known as nucleation, allows farmers to control the size and shape of the pearls to some extent. The cultivation period usually ranges from 2 to 7 years, depending on the desired size.

    Characteristics of Freshwater Pearls:

    Shapes and Sizes

    Freshwater pearls come in various shapes, including round, near-round, oval, button, drop, and baroque. Round pearls are the rarest and most sought-after, while baroque pearls offer unique, irregular forms that are perfect for artistic pearl jewellery designs. Freshwater pearls also vary in size, ranging from tiny seed pearls at 2mm to larger statement pieces measuring 15mm or more.


    The natural colours of freshwater pearls can range from classic white and cream to pastel shades of pink, lavender, and peach. Some pearls also exhibit an iridescent effect known as orient,

    which adds to their visual appeal. Pearl farmers can influence the colour by introducing donor mantle tissue from mussels with specific colour traits, or through post-harvest treatments such as dyeing and irradiation.


    The lustre of a pearl refers to the way light interacts with its surface. Freshwater pearls are known for their soft, satiny lustre, which can vary from subtle to high. The thickness and quality of the nacre layers greatly influence the lustre. Generally, the thicker the nacre, the more lustrous and valuable the pearl.

    Choosing the Perfect Freshwater Pearl Jewellery:

    Determine Your Budget

    Freshwater pearls are more affordable than their saltwater counterparts, making them an excellent choice for first-time buyers and collectors. Prices can range from under £50 for a simple pair of earrings to thousands of pounds for a high-quality necklace.

    Consider the Occasion

    Choose pearl jewellery that suits the occasion, whether it's a gift, a statement piece for a special event, or a versatile addition to your everyday wardrobe. Classic white pearls are timeless and elegant, while coloured pearls offer a contemporary twist.

    Inspect the Quality

    Examine the pearl's surface for imperfections, as fewer blemishes signify higher quality. Lustre, size, and colour are also crucial factors to consider. Ensure that the pearls are well-matched in terms of size, shape, and colour for a cohesive and harmonious appearance in multi-pearl jewellery.

    4. Choose the Right Style

    Freshwater pearls are incredibly versatile and can be found in various types of jewellery, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. Consider your personal style and preferences when selecting a piece.

    Necklaces: Freshwater pearl necklaces can be single or multi-strand, choker, matinee, or opera length. A simple strand of pearls is a timeless classic, while a baroque pearl necklace offers a bold, modern look.

    Bracelets: Pearl bracelets are available in bangle, charm, or stretch styles. A delicate single-strand pearl bracelet adds a touch of sophistication, while a chunky multi-strand design makes a statement.

    Earrings: Freshwater pearl earrings can be studs, drops, or hoops. Pearl studs are an elegant choice for everyday wear or special occasions, while drop earrings or hoops offer a more contemporary appeal.

    Rings: Pearl rings range from simple solitaires to intricate designs with gemstone accents. A

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  4. A guide to Different Pearl Shapes

    Loose Freshwater Pearls of different shapes

    Just like the individual that chooses a piece of pearl jewellery, every pearl, whether natural or cultured is unique. Available in different colours and sizes, every fascinating pearl also has a different shape. At Pearl Gallery, selecting a pearl based on its shape is just one of the many factors involved in this important process. An array of wonderfully bespoke pearl shapes can be explored here amongst our online collections of beautiful pearl jewellery designs, but to help you decide which one is best for you, we’ve created this simple guide to different pearl shapes.

    What factors can affect the shape of a pearl?

    To start with, it’s important to understand that the shape of a pearl can depend on many factors. These include a change in water temperature or saline levels or an organic substance that may attach itself to the pearl whilst it grows. In the same way, a pearl can change its shape if it slides whilst inside the mollusc or if it attaches itself to another pearl or rotates differently than expected when growing. Aquaculturists also believe that the presence of bubbles inside the shell can also influence the eventual form of the pearl.

    How does each pearl form its own unique shape?

    This is one of the most interesting parts to learn about a pearl’s development. It all centres around the irritant that causes the pearl to grow in the first place. All pearls form when a foreign substance enters a mollusc and triggers the growth of a pearl. Layers and layers of nacre-the substance the mollusc uses to build its shell, coat the intruder, forming a protective structure around it. Therefore, it now becomes easier to understand how the shape of a pearl is hugely determined by the irritant that it was formed around. To create sea water cultured pearls, a spherical-shaped bead, with the addition of mantle tissue, is generally used to achieve a perfectly round shape, although other factors affect how the pearl will form. Water molecules

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  5. Traveling to the source: Tahitian Pearls from Paradise

    Traveling to the source: Tahitian Pearls from Paradise

    French Polynesia home of the fabled Black Tahtian Pearl

    The morning was perfect; the intense blue sky only surpassed by the sublime deep turquoise of the lagoon. In the distance waves broke into white foam upon the surrounding coral reef.

    As we skimmed across the channel between the islands of Raiatea and Tahaa in the Societie chain, Dominic; our Water Taxi skipper, told us of how he’d shunned the Rat Race in Paris for the taxi-boat business on a whim. His stress-less life now, he told us, was perfect.

    As we approached the halfway point Dominic suddenly slowed the boat and called out “dolphins!” Sure enough 3 black fins rose and fell in sequence some 150 metres from the boat and then they were gone. A brief magical moment in a perfect setting.

    Champon Pearl Farm

    Our destination, Champon Pearl Farm, slowly came into view and Dominic expertly coaxed the vessel to a slow halt as we slid smoothly alongside the farms wooden jetty.

    The increasing heat of the morning engulfed us as we took in the scene. The jetty reached out some 18 metres from the shore line; its wooden planks bleached grey by the sun and salt. Half way along it widened to support a large brown wooden hut, beyond which an area missing planking to allow nets to be hung in the water. Alongside, 2 boats were held suspended on hoists above the water.

    A tall, dark haired young man casually dressed in shorts and T-shirt appeared and introduced himself as Aymeric Champon. His Mother and late father had founded the pearl farm and he now managed its running. We chatted for a while and he agreed to show us how they produce their pearls.

    Firstly he lifted one of the suspended nets containing immature Black Lip Oysters. He explained how they buy the baby oyster from Apitiaki -a far distant island where they are more abundant, and then grow them until they are mature enough for culturing at around 18 months.

    He demonstrated

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  6. Pearl Shopping 101: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Buy Pearls Online

     How to Buy Pearls Online

    Find out how to buy pearls without getting scammed

    If you’re looking to invest in precious jewellery, pearls should be your first option.The ultimate symbol of love, beauty, class, and luxury — they have adorned the ears, wrists and necklines of civilizations across the globe for countless centuries. In fact, they have been discovered as far back as 450 BC, which means that the appeal of pearls is one of the most enduring in the history of jewellery!

    While pearls were traditionally worn by royalty, they now reign supreme among the majority of the population. In modern-day times, this elegant gem has been designated the birthstone of June and makes a thoughtful gift for those with Gemini or Cancer star signs. It is also commonly gifted to brides-to-be due to its connotations of purity and innocence, and it represents a couple’s milestone 30th wedding anniversary.

    You’re likely to be familiar with their distinctive glow and sumptuously smooth texture, but perhaps you’re not so sure what a pearl actually is and where it comes from. Keep reading to discover more about these lustrous gems and how to buy pearls online.

    What Are Pearls?

    Pearls are the only gemstones in the world that come from a living being. Often referred to as the “gems of the sea”, they are formed in molluscs such as oysters and mussels. This fascinating process occurs when a foreign particle such as food, sand or bacteria enters its shell and the creature protects itself by covering it with layers of nacre. Over time, these layers of nacre create a masterpiece: a glistening pearl.

    So, now we know how they are formed, where do pearls come from? Most freshwater pearls on the market come from mussels in China, whereas saltwater pearls are usually found in oysters located off the coast of Japan, French Polynesia and Australia. If you’re eager to get your hands on the

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  7. 15 Things You Might Not Know About Pearls

    15 Things You Might Not Know About Pearls
    1. Unlike other gems, pearls come from living creatures

      While pearls are classified as gemstones, they are significantly different from all others (including sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc.) since they are the only gems that come from living creatures. Gemstones of all other types are formed when magma cools under pressure in the Earth's crust.
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