Pearls are gemstones which are the product of living creatures.

They are formed when an irritant (like sand) is introduced to a Mollusc. Molluscs create a Nacre coating around the irritant which eventually forms the pearl that we see, love and wear.

They have been a treasured gemstone for centuries with some records dating back to 2,000BC and are easily recognised as a precious stone as they require no cutting or polishing, easily giving away their beauty and rarity.

Today, most pearls on the market are cultured pearls which means they are not naturally occurring and that the irritant is introduced into the oyster or mussel. The ‘technologists’ then supervise the pearl growth to ensure it is of optimal shape. It makes it easier to match similar shaped pearls for jewellery.

There are many different types of Pearls:


Salt water pearls grown off the coast of Japan which have a warm colour but rarely reach more than 9mm in size.

South Sea

Can grow from 8mm and larger. They are found in a variety of colours such as white, silver, gold and rose.


Typically grow from 8mm to 14mm in size. They are famous for their grey and black hues. They also come in red, blue and green.


These are grown in mussels rather than oysters and are found in freshwater lakes. They are not perfectly round but are slightly elongated.


These are less expensive as they are grown against the inside of the oyster shell rather than inside the body. They are generally half round and are used in rings, brooches and earrings.

Pearls Natural or Cultured??

Pearls general come in three types Natural, Cultured, and Freshwater.

Natural pearls are formed by chance—a natural pearl is formed when a parasite or other foreign matter enters the body of the pearl producing mollusk.  As a protective mechanism the mollusk deposits layers of nacre over the irritant.  Over time the mollusk will continue to deposit layers of nacre and this is how the pearl is formed.

To form a cultured pearl—human intervention is required to assist in starting the pearl producing process in the mollusk.  A piece of mantle tissue or a sound bead is inserted into the mollusk and then the process of depositing layers of nacre around the irritant just as a natural pearl begins.  Today nearly all pearls are cultured, allowing consistency in shape and size.

Today’s Freshwater pearls are also cultured and are generally not as round as saltwater pearls.  They do not have the same sharp luster and shine as saltwater pearls so they tend to be less expensive.  Freshwater pearls tend to be more durable than saltwater pearls.

Pearl Care

To care for your pearls, we recommend that your pearls are the last item to be put on when dressing and the first to come off when undressing.

The reason that we recommend that you put your pearls on last is that chemicals are the hardest on your pearls, and will be the first thing to cause them to break down over time and lose their luster.  Apply any cosmetics, cream, hairspray or perfume prior to putting on your pearls.  When you remove your pearls gently wipe them down with a soft cloth before putting them away this will also help to keep the luster beautiful.  The best that you can probably do for your pearls is to wear them often.  It is said that the skins natural oils are great for keeping the luster of pearls.

Pearl Storage

Store your pearls in a soft pouch or cloth lined jewellery box away from other gemstones or avoid scratching.  Pearls are best kept in a cool spot away from direct sunlight.  It is not recommended to keep your pearls in a safe as pearls needs moisture in the air to keep them from drying out and cracking.

Pearl Colour

The pearl colour depends on the oyster’s environment.  While the environment is a factor in a pearl’s colour it is a limited factor.  The strongest defining factor is the type of mollusk.  Different pearl mollusks produce different colours for different reasons.  Most pearls are white, sometimes with a creamy or pinkish tinge, but may be tinted with yellow, green blue, brown or black.

Are they Real???

To test a genuine pearl run it along your teeth.  A genuine pearl will feel rough and gritty while an imitation pearl will feel smooth.