Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All pearls are not created equal....

Pearls to me, are Fruit of the Sea.  So it's no surprise that a strand of pearls was my first piece of big girl jewelry - a gift from my parents when I was in my teens.  I treasured them so much...and still wear them to this day.  

I remember opening the fancy red box and thinking that they must have cost a small fortune...

And I was almost afraid to wear them....because, what if I lost them, or they broke or worse...what if someone stole them?  At the time, I thought a pearl was a pearl was a pearl...but as it turns out, not all pearls are created equal.  

Natural pearls are pearls formed without any human influence and are formed when an irritant enters a mollusk, more commonly found in oysters.  Because these are natural, the pearl usually takes on the shape of the irritant and is rarely, if ever, round.  So with that bit of knowledge - I figured out -  none of my pearls are natural.  

So onto cultured pearls... these are similar to natural pearls, except the irritant is artificially inserted into the mollusk, by a Pearl Farmer (who knew)... and therefore, the shape can be controlled.    

Freshwater pearls are either cultured or natural, although cultured are more common and they are grown in rivers and lakes.  These are very popular because they are inexpensive and durable, although they do not have the same luster as natural & saltwater cultured pearls. 

Saltwater pearls are the most valuable, because of their luster and beauty.  Most popular are Tahitian, Akoya and South Seas and they can be natural or cultured - although most are cultured, making natural ones rare and very expensive.

My most treasured pearls (except my first pair of cultured pearls from my parents) fit into the last category - imitation pearls. These are faux and man made of materials such as glass, plastic and ceramics.  They are sold as costume of designer jewelry and have no real gem value. BUT -  whenever I want to dress up an outfit, whether it be a t-shirt and jeans - or a LBD - my favorite go to piece of jewelry are my classic imitation pearls.

It seems I'm in good company ..... (except for the imitation part...)







I have no idea who this is - but I liked the photo!!

.....And this is my favorite.....

I'm linking this up to Faded Charm's White Wednesday.  Please check it out!!!


Donna said...

I love pearls, too! I have both real and
faux :) My very favorite though is the strand of black pearls (I think they are Tahitian) that my hubby got me in Hawaii, along with matching ear rings. You can never go wrong with pearls, even if you are just wearing jeans and a t-shirt I think they are appropriate!

NanaDiana said...

I love Pearls too...My daughter picked me up a set at an estate sale and they are gorgeous. I even did a post about them. They are imitations and the same ones that Elizabeth Taylor and some of the other stars used to wear and advertise. And, if you have been reading my blog...you know that I am the proud owner of the Biggest PEARL even found. Diana

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

We all love pearls...don't we? So feminine and classy!!!

Drawn to The Sea said...

I've never owned real pearls. Love the odd shapes, especially the blisters. The woman in the last photo... her name is one the tip of my tongue.

Bella said...

Love all those great classic ladies with their pearls! Your unknown is Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's:-) She is my Favorite:-)
Thanks for stopping by!

Beach House Living said...

One can never own enough pearls. Pearl studs are pretty much my standard earrings. I worked for a jeweler for many years and have a few strands but it's the graduated Miki's that are the prized ones.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

My first pearls came from my grandmother when I was a little girl, and I inherited a strand of her pearls too. I don't wear them as often as I used to (I guess I'm in jeans and t-shirts a bit too much) but I still love them.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Pearls are so classic and so beautiful. I love wearing pearls even with jeans. Bella is correct, the picture is of Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's. I guess those pearls came in a little blue box! Lovely post.

Rebecca said...

Pearls have so much grace. It's a shame people don't wear them like they used to!

The Blackwood Cottage said...

Pearls are a favorite of mine and they are in all of the old movies I love so much. Rings, necklaces, earrings....can't get enough and no, they are not all equal. Great post!

Just a dreamer said...

Audrey Hepburn, back side, Breakfast at Tiffany's.......a REAL classy lady.

Loui♥ said...

Thanks for the wonderfully delightful post..
I love my pearls..
both white and black!
also real and faux..
I wear them WHENEVER I choose..
they make me happy..
and I just FEEL so elegant!!
warm sandy hugs..
laughing smiles too!!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Pearls are my favorite gem! And as it turns out, my birthstone! I don't even know how many different types of strands, rings, earrings, or broaches/pins I have! And if I ever had a daughter I was going to name her Máiréad, it's Celtic and it means "from the sea or pearl of the sea" - thanks for the lovely post! I enjoyed my visit today - it made me smile!

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Love pearls and wear them all of the time:) They go with dressy clothes but I love them paired with jeans the best:)They add that touch of elegance I like.
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Rudy said...

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