This organic gemstone is known for its elegance and style. Pearls are not as showy as gemstones and they go well with almost any color on your clothes. Here are the things you need to know about pearls.
Pearls are formed when a deposit, a parasite or a foreign object gets into the soft tissue of an oyster. When this irritant gets inside, the oyster will try to coat it with layers of secretions until it becomes smooth. These layers are called nacre.
Cultured pearls are formed the same way a natural peal is created, but the formation begins when a round bead is inserted in the oyster. Most of the pearls in the market are cultured because natural pearls are rare.
Beware of fake pearls sold in some shops. Look at the items more closely before purchasing. Fake pearls have a uniform color, aren’t cool to the touch, feel smooth when rubbed, and are lightweight. A real pearl, regardless if it’s natural or cultured, should have surface ridges when examined closely, are heavy when weighed, are cool when touched, have smooth drilled holes, and most importantly have a rich color and even an overtone.
Types of Pearls
The pearls sold at Singapore jewelry shops today are classified based on their origin.
1. Akoya Pearls come from the Japanese coast. Akoya pearls are considered the “classic” pearls because of their tiny, round shape and luster. A few Akoya pearls are gold or silver-blue in color too.
2. Tahitian Pearls are famous for their dark color and various shapes. It’s very rare to find round Tahitian pearls but you can find a variety of colors other than black. They are found mostly in French Polynesia.
3. White South Sea Pearls are a rare variety. They are valued for their large size and the variety of colors such as white and gold. These pearls have the thickest nacre when compared to other cultured pearls. South Sea pearls are found in the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.
4. Gold South Sea Pearls are large, gold-colored varieties of the South Sea pearls. Their natural color is not treated and are often more expensive than the other types especially if it’s a deep gold color.
5. Freshwater Pearls, unlike the saltwater pearls, are more budget-friendly but are just as beautiful. They come in a lot of shapes and colors too. Most freshwater pearls are grown in man-made lakes.
Buy only at reputable shops in Singapore. One common problem among pearl collectors is that there are a few experts on pearls in general even if they have been used in jewelry for a long time. Every shop has a different pearl grading system, so make sure to research first before purchasing. You should already have an idea of what color and shape you’d like and the type of pearl you want to buy when you walk into a shop.