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Pearls of Wisdom

“A woman needs ropes and ropes of Pearls.” Coco Chanel

Pearls have always been a symbol of luxury and elegance. They embody the joy of life because they are the only gemstone created by an animal. How amazing is that?!!

Almost all pearls on the market today are cultured meaning that they are farmed in the ocean with humans inserting the irritant inside the mollusk that becomes a pearl. Pearls can be farmed in both the freshwater of lakes and streams and the saltwater of the ocean.

Freshwater Pearls: Freshwater pearls are largely farmed by China in the freshwater lakes and rivers. Freshwater pearls take 6 months to grow with 30-50 pearls forming inside a single mollusk. It is because of this short growing time, the nacre, or outside layers of the pearl, is thinner than saltwater pearls and generally not has high quality which is reflected in the price. In the past, freshwater pearls could easily be spotted because they did not grow round, but now, they can be perfectly round!

Saltwater Pearls: Saltwater pearls (Akoya, South Sea, or Tahitian) are farmed in the oceans of Japan, the South Seas, and Tahiti. The saltwater pearl takes 10-18 months with only one pearl inside a mollusk. These pearls tend to have a better quality nacre, or outside layers of the pearl, with a better luster (the glow) which is why they are more expensive than freshwater pearls. Often, the Japanese farmed pearls are called Akoya, which refers to the Akoya mollusk they are grown in. A famous brand of saltwater pearls you may have heard of is Mikimoto.

One of the things that amaze me about pearls, especially in the saltwater varieties, is the weight or heft of the pearl. Fine quality pearls not only have a silky, soft feel to them, but they feel heavy. Pearls will also warm up to your body temperature after first feeling cool when you put them on.

Summer always means pearls to me, and I would love to help you with pearls! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 26 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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