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The natural pearl : Discover its characteristics and our selection of natural pearl jewelry

Name and characteristics of the Natural Pearl

The etymology of the word pearl is not sure, perhaps it comes from a variety of shell in Latin "perna" or from its spherical form in Latin "sphaerula".

Very rare nowadays and very expensive to buy, natural pearls can be found on many pieces of antique jewelry. Unlike the cultured pearl, the natural pearl is entirely made of mother-of-pearl.

Different varieties of Natural Pearls

The size of a pearl generally varies from a pinhead to the size of a pigeon egg.

The luster of the pearl is called "orient" and depends on the scale-like arrangement of the aragonite lamellae and the conchyoline film on its surface. As for the color of the pearl, it depends on the species of the mollusk that produces it, the waters where it is born and the coloration of the external layers of conchyoline. It can be white, black, pink, blue, yellow...

Stories and beliefs about the Natural Pearl

Appreciated in all civilizations, the habits and legends flourish about it: the Pharaohs of the Ptolemaic era dedicated it to Isis. In Greece, it was a symbol of Aphrodite and the emblem of Love and marriage; men and women alike liked to wear it in their ears as a natural pearl earring.

The Romans had a real passion for it, even drinking wine in which natural pearls were dissolved. Cleopatra spent fortunes on pearls for this kind of drink that she drank to the health of Mark Anthony.

Among the pre-Columbian peoples, only people of royal blood could wear natural pearl jewelry. In China, it is the symbol of eternal life. In India, used to adorn the dead, it was considered a guarantee of rebirth. The Arab tradition wants that it is a drop of rain fallen in the sea and transformed into jewel by Allah.

Compared to a droplet, it is often the symbol of tears, the Christian legend associates it with the tears of Adam and Eve repenting.

In the language of gems, it means purity and humility. 

Natural Pearls care

The pearl is an organic gem that goes through all periods of life: youth, maturity, old age and evolves with them. It is sensitive and therefore easily scratched, cracked or damaged.

Fragile, it fears grease, acidity and sweat.

To preserve its beauty, you must wear natural pearl jewelry often, but not all skins are suitable for it: some steal its shine, others give it some. You must also be careful with substances such as perfume or lacquer for example, which can dull the luster of the pearls by making them dull, opaque and thus makes their shine disappear.

Perfume yourself before wearing your pearl jewelry to avoid direct contact with your pearls, which are very sensitive.

Before storing your jewelry, after wearing it, use a soft, damp cloth to remove all traces of the product. You can also wash your pearls periodically with a mild PH neutral soap and a soft cloth to remove deposits accumulated during the wearing of your jewelry.

The delicacy of pearls requires that you store your pearl jewelry separately from your other jewelry. If possible, store them in a case or pouch to prevent scratching or other damage.

Another important tip we can give you is to have your pearl necklaces or pearl bracelets re-strung once a year. They are mounted on silk threads so that they do not get damaged. A knot separates each bead so that you don't risk losing all your beads in case of breakage and so that they don't wear against each other.

If you follow these few tips, you will be able to keep your pearl jewelry for decades and no doubt pass it on from generation to generation, preserving the brilliance and luster that the pearls had on the first day.

Famous Natural Pearls

The most beautiful pearls come from the Persian Gulf (the oldest of which has just been discovered: 7500 years old!) and the South Seas.

The most famous pearls are certainly those that adorned Cleopatra's earrings. Having made a bet with Antony to spend more than ten million sesterces in a single meal, she swallowed one after having dissolved it in a glass of vinegar.

Lucius Plaucus, judge of the bet, prevented him from making undergo the same fate with the second, which, later, was sawn to make two ear pendants to the Venus of the Pantheon.

Choose your Natural Pearl jewel

Present on many antique jewelry, it is found in particular on the antique charm rings, XIXth century bracelets or pearl pendants.

Discover our precious collection of Natural Pearl jewelry, antique or creation

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