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Jewellery A-Z: Pearls

Pearls form inside the shells of pearl Oysters and have been cultivated since 1914! An irritant is introduce into the Oyster, which then forms the nucleus around which the pearl forms.

Pearls are classically white or pinkish in colour, but can also appear in shades of black, grey, blue, green and gold. The most famous are Black Tahitian Pearls from Polynesia, Golden South Sea Pearls, which come from Australia or Indonesia and Akoya pearls, which are the staple of many pearl companies from Japan and the far east and are the most common of the cultured pearl and makes up a large part of the market.

Pearls have been used in fine jewellery for hundreds of years thanks to their variations in shape and colours. They are a naturally soft gem due to the fact they are an organic material (nacre or calcium carbonate) and they require some moisture to keep their natural colouring and lustre (shiny finish), so don't keep them in too dry a location.

Pearl has been designated as the birthstone for June, but more significantly is the gem for a 30th wedding anniversary. Pearls are formed over time in oysters, which are not the best-looking of containers. Therefore the meaning of a pearl is hidden beauty coming from maturity: just like in a long-term marriage, it’s what inside that counts.

All the images shown here are of real stock items that are available to buy in-store here at P.W.House, so if you have an anniversary or know someone with a June birthday please come visit us and see what other treasures we have for you.

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