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ALL ABOUT PEARLS

Tabandeh Sizdahkhani

ALL ABOUT THESE WATER GEMS:
PEARLS ARE UNIQUELY FORMED WATER GEMS, EACH WITH ITS OWN SHAPE, COLOR AND LUSTER. NO TWO ARE IDENTICAL AND IRREGULARITY IS CONSIDERED AN ASPECT OF THEIR BEAUTY.
PEARLS ARE CREATED WHEN MICROSCOPIC FOREIGN OBJECTS BECOME TRAPPED INSIDE LIVING MOLLUSKS, CAUSING THE ORGANISM TO SECRETE LAYERS OF NACRE (NAY-KER) AROUND THE IRRITANT. THE NACRE THEN HARDENS, FORMING A PEARL INSIDE THE SHELL.
NATURALLY FORMED, WILD PEARLS ARE EXTRAORDINARILY RARE AND EXPENSIVE. MOST PEARL VARIETIES ARE CULTURED; THEY’RE FARMED IN CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENTS USING ARTIFICIALLY INTRODUCED IRRITANTS TO START THE PEARL-MAKING PROCESS. THEY CAN BE PRODUCED IN EITHER SALT OR FRESH WATER. 
A PEARL’S VALUE IS DETERMINED BY ITS TYPE, COLOR, SHAPE AND SIZE. THE PRIMARY TYPES OF CULTURED PEARLS ARE: 
AKOYA: FARMED FOR OVER A CENTURY OFF JAPAN’S COAST, AKOYA PEARLS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR CLASSIC ROUND SHAPE AND WHITE COLOR.
FRESHWATER: PEARLS FARMED IN FRESHWATER LAKES AND PONDS, THEY COME IN A VARIETY OF SHAPES AND COLORS, ARE VERY PLENTIFUL AND OFTEN MORE AFFORDABLE. 
SOUTH SEA: AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA ARE THE MAIN SOURCES OF THESE SALTWATER PEARLS. THEY COME IN VARIOUS SHAPES AND COLORS, RANGING FROM WHITE TO GOLD AND ARE THE LARGEST SALTWATER PEARLS AVAILABLE. 
TAHITIAN: PEARLS FROM FRENCH POLYNESIA ARE NATURALLY DARK IN COLOR AND OFTEN REFERRED TO AS BLACK, THOUGH IN FACT COME IN MANY COLOR AND SHAPE VARIATIONS, WITH PERFECTLY ROUND BEING THE MOST VALUABLE.
LIGHTER PEARL COLORS RANGE FROM WHITE TO CREAM, GOLD AND PINK. BLACK PEARLS CAN BE SILVER, LIGHT TO DARK GREY, AND HAVE UNDERTONES OF GREEN, BLUE AND PURPLE.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PEARLS, THEIR HISTORY AND CHARACTERISTICS, VISIT THE GIA WEBSITE