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Pearls 101. Everything you need to know about pearls

by Carlotta Trentin |

What comes to mind when you think of pearls? For most, pearls conjure up images of classic style and elegance. And while pearls are certainly a wardrobe must-have for occasions that call for dressing up, there's more to these gems than meets the eye. In fact, pearls are surprisingly versatile and can be worn in a variety of ways to create different looks. So if you're curious about this age-old jewellery option, read on for everything you need to know about pearls. We'll cover everything from the different types of pearls to how to care for them so you can make the most of your pearl pieces. By the time you finish reading, you'll be ready to start shopping for your very own pearl

 

The history of pearls

 

Pearls have been worn for millennia and their discovery cannot be attributed to one person in particular, but we know that they were first discovered by people searching for food along the seashore.


The earliest evidence of the use and trade in pearls dates back to 5500 BC. Ivory beads were first introduced into this practice around then, but it wasn't until later on that they became known as "pearls" due to their hard coating which makes them shine like little balls beneath water or other surfaces


Pearls have been a symbol of luxury and wealth since as early at 2300 BC when they were presents given by Chinese royalty. Currently, a lot of the believes and symbols evolved around pearls. If you are interested in this, read our article on pearl symbolization 


In ancient Rome, pear-shaped gems became an ultimate status item to those who could afford them; thus caesar passed a law limiting where only members in upper classes could wear these precious spheres - until 1st century AD! 

 

  Susa Necklace, ca. 350 BCE, Louvre Museum, Paris, France

 Susa Necklace, ca. 350 BCE, Louvre Museum, Paris, France

 

The abundance of natural oyster beds presents within the Persian Gulf meant there was no shortage of supply of oyster pearls either which made this gemstone popular among many cultures throughout history including Arab Countries & Greeks (who called their favorite variety “aegean”).

 

The demand for pearls has been a long-standing trade commodity that can be dated back to Roman times.  In the 15th and 16th centuries, upon the discovery of pearls by Central and South America, the so-called “Pearl Age” started. 

 

European ladies wore elaborate necklaces made from these beautiful gems in an attempt at elegance during their lifetimes but when they died these items passed on through generations until it reached our time where people continue the fascination with how valuable yet fragile this substance really seems sometimes!

 

In modern-day society, there's renewed interest again due largely thanks mainly princesses who have started wearing them because not only do we see the beauty within each strand if gold strings connected together tightly enough holds their form

 

Natural vs Cultured pearls?

First of all, there is a big classification of the pearls based on multiple features. The main one is the natural vs cultured pearl. 

 

You may have heard that natural pearls are more valuable than their cultivated counterparts. But what's the difference between natural and cultivated pearls?

 

So natural pearls are created solely by nature without humans intervening in the process. While it starts with biodegradable materials like plant life or corals, there is no human intervention informing them! This means these types of mollusks were actually living things before someone decided to make jewellery out of them—and for this reason alone they hold great sentimental value among many cultures across the Asia Pacific regions where people wear robes made from shells considered heavy possessions due to their numerous blessings brought upon them. 

 

Cultured pearls are considered real but they’re not formed without human intervention. Most available on market today is cultured pearls, while natural ones are much rarer and therefore more valuable than those that have been cultivated by humans. To form a cultured pearl, fishermen or specially trained people insert usually tiny beads into oysters during their kit process to expedite the pearl forming process. This technology has been around for centuries as well. 

 

Generally, cultured pearls are cheaper than natural pearls, but sometimes, cultured pearls can be extremely expensive. If you decide which one to choose, it is always better to go with the natural option. But searching for the natural pearl is a challenge on its own. 

 

 

The different types of pearls

Both, natural and cultured pearls can be different types of pearls regarding of the wanter, mollusk used, and final size, color and look. 

 

Pearls guide - type of pearls - Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian & Southern pearls

 

Pearls are a symbol of beauty and luxury. They come from four different types & pearl colors:

 

  • Freshwater, 
  • Akoya (classical), 
  • Tahitian black or 
  • South sea depending on their color. 

 

The main difference between those types of pearls is the pearl source or oyster pearl, that is predefined by the location and the water. 

 

Freshwater pearls generally grow in lakes but there's also one located inside freshwater salt caves where its sole purpose was used for religious ceremonies by Native Americans before European settlement.

 

Kanakared (or Akoya) pearls can be found in almost any color sun-though, but typically they're  white. They have been treasured for generations as they can be worn with anything due to how lightweight they are.

 

With a purplish-black hue, the Tahitian pearl is often considered to be one of nature’s most beautiful gems. The name itself originates from this French Polynesian island in which it was primarily cultivated around 400 years ago by native people who would find these pearls inside wild oysters grown on rocks near water sources like reefs or saltwater lakes!

 

The rarest type is South Sea Pearl which has been known to price anywhere between $100 -$1000 an ounce! This rare kind was originally created when saltwater met fresh but now there are also other combinations such as green-blue+brown

You can read our article about saltwater vs freshwater pearls to learn more about different types of pearls. 

 

 

How to care for your pearls

 

Pearls are delicate and precious stones that can easily be damaged. To avoid damaging your pearls, never wear them with makeup or perfume because these will cause acid to etch into the surface of a pearl over time which discolors it irreversibly. 

 

You may also want to be cautious when washing dishes that have sweated off any skin oils as this could rub against the luster causing further stains on top layers.

 

To preserve their radiance always put on the jewellery last after applying make-up and styling locks; if you sweat then consider giving them a bath first! 

Pearls have a natural luster that makes them stand out from other gemstones. They're also incredibly durable so they can withstand most scratches and knocks without getting damaged! 

 

However, pearls do tend to get tangled easily if you don't take care of your jewellery properly - just make sure not to wear long necklaces or bracelets while bathing because water will rapidly tarnish these types of gems over time due to their surface being soft rather than hard like diamonds/sapphire, etc.

 

To prevent tangles completely use fastening clasps on all straps before placing items inside compartments within tailored jewellery case where each piece must remain untouched until ready for wearing again

 

Sometimes a piece of jewellery seems to be losing its luster. This could mean that it needs cleaning or repairing, so don't hesitate! Take your precious pearls and go see an expert as soon as possible for the best results. The radiance will thank you forever if we fix this now before damage occurs



Celebrities, that rocked pearls. Some pearl inspiration 

 

Coco Chanel 

 

Coco Chanel is the first name that pops in our minds when we talk about pearls. Coco Chanel is one of the most iconic style icons in history and her simple yet sophisticated look has become an international benchmark for women everywhere. The many strands she wore were given to her by businessman Dmitrii, since then they've been worn with pristine elegance every time. 

 

Not only pearl necklaces, but pearl brooches, real pearl earrings, and big bracelets with pearls were jewellery pieces to go for Coco. 

Coco Chanel with pearl necklace & pearl earrings

 

Princess Diana 

 

Princess Diana is undoubtedly one of the most popular princesses in modern history. She had an effect on fashion that continues to inspire new generations with her forever loved pearls because. 

 

Her pearls have been known to grow in size and value over the years, often mixing it up with gold or diamonds. She prefers stud pearl earrings and elegant pearl necklaces  or statement pearl choker 

 

Princess Diana wearing pearl choker necklace and pearl earrings | Lil Milan

Harry Styles 


The king of accessory Harry Styles has been on top for a long time, and he’s not about to lose his crown any day soon. From shirtless looks with pearls around his neck all the way down funny sweater  that are fit enough so you can see some skin when it's cold outside - Styles knows how make an outfit pop without even trying!


He's styled the classic accessory lil’ string of pearls  most often associated with royalty and southern sorority girls impeccably. Stepping up the pearl game and introducing it to the boys! 

Harry Styles rocking pearl choker necklaces

 

Pearls are classic, elegant, and versatile. They can be worn in a variety of ways to create different looks, making them the perfect accessory for any outfit and for any gender. If you're curious about pearls and want to know how to style them, check out our latest post about pearl styling tips and inspiration. Next time you're going out, show off your pearl game and stun everyone with your timeless gems!