Pearls: Classic and Stylish
– by Linda Blatchford –
Pearls are June Birthstones: along with Pearl, Moonstone (Traditional: Alexandrite).
Pearls are an astral stone for the signs Gemini and Cancer are linked to the moon. Pearls have been called the “teardrops of the moon”. Some believe that pearls were formed by the passage of angels through the clouds of heaven.
Spiritual Benefits of wearing pearls:
* Stimulates spiritual transformation
* Promotes prosperity and success
* Encloses you with an aura of calm and beauty
* Helps with stomach, digestion and emotional stress
* Amplifies focus, meditation skills and wisdom
* Helps balance the solar plexus chakra
Over time, the pearl has become the symbol of purity and innocence and it is often sewn into bridal gowns, or worn as jewelry by the bride.
Pearls are classic, elegant and may be expensive. They are very popular at the Gem Shows.
Queen Alexandra’s Pearls*
Most fine jewellery in the 1900s was white and made from either diamonds or pearls. Queen Alexandra initially wore dog collar chokers, called a ‘collier de chien’ to cover a small scar on her neck.
For state occasions and formal events she plastered herself in arrangements of pearl necklaces. The rarity value of real pearls then was such that an American skyscraper exchanged hands for the price of a pearl necklace . This is not as ridiculous as it seems, since fine south sea pearls still command a high price.
Pearls were very fashionable, but still very, very costly. After the 1890s, Kokichi Mikimoto of Japan, produced highly acceptable cultured pearls by placing a small bead into an oyster shell. The bead coated itself with nacre (mother of pearl) and so good looking pearl jewels became more affordable.
Various combinations of pearl necklaces come in and out of fashion with regularity so pearls too are a must. Both fake and real freshwater or cultured pearls are very affordable today. The price of pearls has dropped by about a fifth in the past 10 years and the Chinese are making waves in the pearl world with their cheaper prices. The Japanese have suffered disease in their pearl beds as well as facing competition and are finding it hard to compete with China’s prices.
Value of Pearls
In the early 1900’s, the financier Morton F. Plant exchanged the building for a Cartier two-strand Oriental pearl necklace much coveted by a woman he admired.
A pearl is judged by its luster, size and markings. Although baroque, or unevenly formed, pearls have often been popular, it is the perfectly round ones that are now most desired. The best have a creamy, slightly pinkish glow. Black pearls (actually, a sort of silver-gray shade) are also coveted. Pearls are measured in millimeters, with 7 to 7.5 considered respectably modest while something larger than 10 millimeters becomes pretty important. For the last 70 years, they have been ”farmed,” which means the deformities have been given a helping hand. These pearls are called cultured, and today natural pearls are extremely rare.
Most of the cultured pearls, Mr. Mondschein says, come from Japan, while the largest ones come from the South Seas, Burma, Tahiti and Australia. Pearls should always be kept in a soft pouch; they can be professionally cleaned with soap and water. ”But spray perfume is the killer,” says Mr. Mondschein. ”I’ve seen people ruin pearls that way. And once the bloom is off the pearl, it can never come back.”