Natural pearls are extremely rare nowadays due to pollution and over fishing. Nearly 95% of available pearls are cultured pearls only. Cultured pearls are natural products that are produced by taking the help of science to some extent. The mollusk is implanted with a nucleus for stimulating the production of nacre. Over a couple of years, the nacre layers are built and the pearl is formed. The nacre is the most important determinant in pearls because the luster of the pearls comes from the nacre. Mollusks create natural and cultured pearls in rivers, lakes and oceans. Cultured pearls are used for creating various types of pearl jewelry like necklace, ring, bangles, etc.
Imitation pearls are obtained by dipping plastic, glass or shell beads in ground fish scales. They are further lacquered to produce pearlescence. However, it would be very easy to differentiate between cultured pearls and imitation pearls. Cultured pearls possess an inner glow, while imitation pearls have only a surface shining. Further, if you rub the original pearl against your upper teeth, you would get a gritty feeling, which would not be there with the imitation pearl. These points should be remembered while buying pearl jewelry.
Pearls are usually graded as A, AA, and AAA by most of the pearl sellers. Pearls are always fashionable. Pearls are also classified as ‘flawless,’ ‘slightly imperfect,’ and ‘imperfect.’ Flawless pearls are hard to get and higher priced. They are called ‘excellent pearls’ and ‘very good pearls.’ Pearls with slight imperfections could be termed as ‘average.’ Pearls that have lot of imperfections are considered ‘poor.’ Further, high quality pearls would have thick nacre. Hence, no compromise should be made while buying pearl jewelry, though you should also be mindful of your budget.
You could buy pearl jewelry in the form of single strand necklaces, multi-strand necklaces, twisted pearl necklaces, ribbon bead necklaces, etc. Shell bracelets, shell pendants, shell earrings and shell rings are also available in pearl jewelry range. Pearls should always be wiped with soft cloth after using them for removing dirt and oils. They should also be stored in linen or other similar soft cloth to avoid the pearl jewelry getting scratched. Pearls require moisture and they tend to crack in dry conditions. If you feel your climate is a hot one, then keep a damp cloth in the box separately and away from the pearl jewelry. The cloth should be made wet at least twice a day. Care should be taken that pearl jewelry do not come into contact with chemicals like vinegar, chlorine bleach, ammonia, perfumes, cosmetics, hairspray, etc. Hence, pearls should be worn only after you have completed the spraying of perfume, hairspray, etc. on your skin and the makeup work is fully done. Such precautions would keep your precious pearl jewelry in good condition for a longer period.