Pearl Guide

Everything you need to know to make the perfect choice

Pearl Guide

Everything you need to know to make the perfect choice

Pearl Guide

Learn about pearls

Co-founder

How do Pearls grow?

Pearls are naturally produced by the defensive response of a bivalve or gastropod. When invaded by an unwanted intruder, such as rough particules or a small organism, the creature forms an encasing vesicle around the offending particle, we call this the “Pearl Sac”. The pearl sac is then filled with a substance from its internal mantle called nacre, more commonly known as mother of pearl. This builds up in concentric layers within the pearl sac, hardening with each deposit and encasing the particle. Many repetitions of this process is what eventually forms a natural pearl.

Julie Co-founder
William Seville Kent

Natural, Cultured & Simulated Pearls

Natural and Cultured pearls are both "real" pearls, being made of the same material, grown by the same molluscs and extracted in the same way. The difference is that with cultured pearls, the initial process which causes the pearl generation has been initiated by a pearl farmer, rather than having occurred by chance in the wild.
Simulated pearls, which we do not supply, are simply imitations which have been manufactured using an artificial process.

Growing a Gem: Culturing

Pearls have captivated mankind since the dawn of civilisation. Coastal and seafaring cultures recognised the rarity and beauty of these treasures. It is no surprise then, that we used our ingenuity to find a way to create pearls on demand, as we have also done with other precious rarities. The name given to the art of stimulating a mollusk to bringing forth a pearl is known as “Culturing”; the result of human appreciation, observation, understanding and domestication of a natural process.

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Harnessing Nature

The modern pearl culturing process we still essentially use today, was developed theoretically by British biologist and sustainable fishing advocate William Saville-Kent ,between 1892 and 1895, whilst studying the Great Barrier reef on behalf of the Australian government.

His involvement has only fairly recently come to light and for many years, it was believed the Japanese – notably Mikimoto, Nishikowa and Mise were responsible for perfecting the technique.

Loose Freshwater Pearls

Cultured Pearl Types

Pearl culturing has developed and flourished into an expansive industry across the globe. Much like fine wines, the produce of pearl farmers in diverse regions, have become known for their unique characteristics, each renowned for their properties in colour, shape and size.

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Co-founder

The Industry standards

One of the most wonderful things about pearls is their diversity, each mollusk producing its own unique variety. No matter what your budget, you'll be able to find the perfect jewellery to suit you.

Julie Co-founder
Pearl Guide: Akoya
Pearl Guide: Freshwater
Pearl Guide: South Sea
Pearl Guide: Tahitian

Pearl Grading

As organic products of the natural world, pearls are subject to variations and imperfections. To assess these, the five criteria listed below are used to rank the desirability of an individual pearl. The closer a pearl comes to the ideal in each category, the higher its desirability and commercial value. Having said this, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

Pearl Grading

As organic products of the natural world, pearls are subject to variations and imperfections. To assess these, the five criteria listed below are used to rank the desirability of an individual pearl. The closer a pearl comes to the ideal in each category, the higher its desirability and commercial value. Having said this, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

Lustre

Lustre is the quality of reflected light from the pearl, and is generally thought of as its shine or brightness. The thicker the layers of nacre that build on a pearl, the deeper the lustre and more attractive the pearl will appear.

Surface Quality


Ideally a pearl will have a completely blemish free surface, without bumps,pits or gaps caused by uneven coating by the mollusc. It is a factor, which is ultimately beyond the control of the farmer. In reality most pearls are not born perfect-similar to us humans, and some markings are to be expected. They can be viewed as adding to their individuality and personality. Commercially however,the more perfect the skin and blemish free the surface, the higher the resulting price of the pearl.

Pearl Sizes

Pearl
Sizes

Shape

As a rule, a perfect round shape is considered most desirable. Shapes can deviate from perfect round by many degrees, with each degree reducing the perceived value of the pearl. The antithesis of the round pearl is the semi baroque or baroque pearl with its free-form outline, the exception being perfect pear or drop shapes which are highly desirable as matched pairs for earrings.

Tahitian pearl shapes
Tahitian pearl colours

Colours


Colour in pearls is a matter of either pure body colour or overtones of body colours. In non-white pearls such as Tahitian and Gold South Sea Pearls, the strength of colour is seen as a positive value factor.

While with white Akoya pearls the overtone tint of the pearl-most often pinky white, is considered to be the most attractive. It must be remembered however, that the wearers own skin tone and personal taste will have the ultimate judgement on colour choice.

Pearl Matching

Matching is an important but sometimes over looked criterion in pearl grading. Creating a well matched necklace is a very skilled discipline that requires focus, an eye for detail, good colour perception and time. Before a necklace can even start to be created however, grading and sorting of loose lots of pearls must take place in order to sift out unsuitable grades and sizes to create a pool of suitable candidates to drawn upon. Only when this process has taken place can the selection and fine filtering work of necklace creation begin.

Pearl Matching

Matching is an important but sometimes over looked criterion in pearl grading. Creating a well matched necklace is a very skilled discipline that requires focus, an eye for detail, good colour perception and time. Before a necklace can even start to be created however, grading and sorting of loose lots of pearls must take place in order to sift out unsuitable grades and sizes to create a pool of suitable candidates to drawn upon. Only when this process has taken place can the selection and fine filtering work of necklace creation begin.

Pearl Care

Pearls are natural gems,an organic product created by a living creature. As with all things born of Mother Nature, pearls need to be given a certain amount of care and treated with some measure of respect in order to maintain their beauty and lustre. Pearls are composed of a form of Calcium Carbonate, the same organic substance that builds our bones and teeth. For this reason, they won’t stand up well to repeated hard physical stresses or to being constantly exposed to strong chemicals. Your pearl jewellery will give you a lifetime of wear if you simply look after it with care and pay attention to a few details. The general, often-quoted rule of thumb for wearing your pearls is “last on, first off”.

Jewellery Box

Storage


During the summer, or while on holiday in sunny climes, it’s best not to leave your pearls in direct sunlight or expose them to extreme temperatures. We recommend that pearls are ideally kept in a soft cloth bag inside a lined jewellery box to prevent scratches when not being worn. It's best to keep your pearls away from other items of jewellery which may have sharpe edges that can easily damage your pearls.

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Environment Friendly,
Directly Sourced

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