As the oldest known gemstones, pearls have been treasured since ancient times. Historically, pearls have adorned the necks of the most elite members of society as a symbol of power and wisdom, and were sewn into clothing to display wealth and social status. They are of great importance to many cultures all over the world and are even mentioned in several ancient religious texts.
Pearls are created by oysters and are the only gemstone to come from a living creature. They come in many shapes and sizes, with round being the most popular. Most pearls used in jewellery are made up of layers of a material called “nacre” which is comprised of both organic and in-organic substances. This is what gives nacreous pearls the unique, iridescent lustre they are known for.
Natural pearls are very rare and valuable; most pearls on the market today are cultured, which means they have been produced in human-made farms. All pearls are either freshwater or saltwater, although there are many different varieties available within these groups. Freshwater pearls are produced by mussels in rivers, lakes, and ponds, while saltwater pearls are created in the ocean by several types of marine oyster. Some pearls can take anywhere between one to three years to grow, and each oyster will generally only be able to produce two or three pearls in its lifetime.
Pearl is the birthstone of June and are traditionally gifted for third wedding anniversary. They are thought to bring good luck and protection to their wearer, which is another reason they were favoured by royalty and nobles. Today, they are used in all manner of jewellery, but remain just as beautiful and stylish. Due to the softness of the nacre, however, they are quite delicate, so it important to take extra care with pearl jewellery to ensure it does not become scratched or damaged. Pearl earrings are a classic and popular choice for anyone wishing to show off the beauty of this unique gem.