Pearls are one of the few organic gemstones. It is the only gemstone that has been grown inside a living organism. A pearl is unique gemstone because in its natural state--without any polishing, cutting or other manipulation--it shows it full beauty, gloss and luster. 

Pearl jewelry has been prized for its beauty for centuries. Once reserved for onlythe wealthiest people, technology and advancements in pearl farminghave made pearl jewelry more commonly available and affordable.


CONFUSING is the world of the pearl for the general public. Theterms used to describe pearls and pearl jewelry are thrown aboutwith abandon by the pearl industry.

Saltwater, freshwater, natural, nacre, luster, cultured, dyed, akoya, mabe, blister,keishi, petal. . . the list of terms used to describe a pearl seems endless. 

The terms generally fall into three categories of interest to people lookingto purchase pearl jewelry.

How was the pearl made? Is it a realpearl?Freshwater or saltwater? Natural or cultured? Real or manmade?

What is the appearance of the pearl and its value?Luster and nacre? Shape? Size? Surface? Color?

What do the different pearl names mean?Akoya, Blister, Tahitian, Keishi, Mabe, Mother of Pearl

The value of the pearl depends on the answers to all of those questions. Because the pearl is a naturally occurring organic gemstone the quality varies widely. Different conditions in nature including weather and wat er temperature can dramatically affect the appearance of a pearl.

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