There is nothing more classic than a strand of pearls. Did you know that it takes about 10,000 pearls to find enough matching stones for a pearl necklace? That’s a lot of oysters! Luckily, the culturing process means that we have the quantities needed to do this.
Natural beds are not reliable or plentiful enough. Controlled saltwater and freshwater pearl farms can be found in Asia, the U.S., Europe and Australia to help keep up with the popularity of this classic gemstone.
So, how do you farm pearls? The only difference between a culture pearl pendant and a natural pearl is that the farmer nudges the process along by inserting an irritant into the shell instead of waiting for it to happen naturally. The rest of the process is the same. The oyster or mollusk secretes nacre as a covering around the irritant. Layer upon layer, it builds up the gemstone until it is removed.
Cultured pearl earrings or a strand of pearls are a traditional gift to a new bride or a college graduate. The pearl is also the birthstone for June and the gemstone for the 30th wedding anniversary.
Because they are very soft with a 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, gently clean with damp cloth and never use chemicals. They will ruin the finish. It is also recommended that you have your strand re-strung every few years.
Pearls are not just for grandmas and special occasions. A pearl ring or bracelet is trendy and classic at the same time.
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