Saturday, July 5, 2008

Need A Gift? Think Pearls

What better way to commemorate the special times in our lives than with the gift of pearls. Pearls have been honored and revered through out history and are possible the oldest symbol of wealth and prosperity. Dating back to the Roman Empire, pearls were said to be worth their weigh in gold. Unlike the gemstones mined from the earth, pearls are the only gemstone formed from live animals. Contrary to popular belief, pearls usually do not form as a result of sand trapped in the oysters shell. Most often a piece of food material becomes trapped within the tissue of the oyster. Secretions then encapsulate the foreign material and the pearl is formed.
Through out the ages pearls have been worn by nobility and the working class as well. During the 1700s and early 1800s seed pearls became popular and were strung on silk. The result was a piece so delicate and elegant that the pearl became known as a symbol of purity and gentility. In fact, an 1870 newspaper article stated that pearls were "exquisitely beautiful and constitute an appropriate and elegant present to a young bride."
Pearls have become family heirlooms as a result of their luster and beauty. Most of us are familiar with the saltwater or marine pearl but many are unfamiliar with the freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls grow in mussels which live in lakes, rivers and streams. In fact, pearls can be cultivated and are produced in countries around the world.
Due to their versatility, pearls can be worn with just about any outfit from a formal gown to jeans. Pearls are commonly found strung in necklaces and bracelets, mounted in rings, pendants, pins and brooches. If the uniform elegance of the marine pearl is not your style, maybe the unique shape and color of the cultured freshwater pearl are more your style. Pearls can range from white to gold, or purple to black. Pearls also come in a wide variety of shapes. Ranging from round to the truly unique baroque there is a variety to meet every need, occasion and individuals taste.
Pearls are extremely durable but do need some basic care. First, if you wear your pearls regularly have them restrung at least once a year and request that they be knotted between each pearl. After each wearing lightly, wipe your pearls with a soft cloth. This will remove the oil from the pearls which can affect their luster. Also, keep your pearls away from chemicals such as hair spray, makeup or perfume. It’s also a good idea to store your pearls in a separate compartment of your jewelry box or in a soft bag to prevent chipping.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for the graduate, bride or special someone, pearls will be loved and adored for years to come. If you want to give a gift that can be passed on from generation to generation, pearls are the right choice. From the classic elegance of the pearly white strand of pearls to the unique stylish flair of colored Biwa pearls, you can’t go wrong with a gift of pearls.

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The Muse said...

Lynn, thanks so much for the wonderful information regarding caring for my pearls. I have serval pieces that were given to me as a girl, and I have several pieces of family jewels passed down to me. So your blog was of great interest and clearly invaluable!

I have a prolouge piece entitled The Pink Pearl on my A Diva's Hammer blog...
Reading your blog today (as you discussed the variety of colors in pearls) brought that to mind....

Again many thanks Lynn!

LisaLisa said...

I just love the pearls necklaces...they are just so elegant . When you put on a pair of pearls with the right dress it just make you feel so pretty. They are my favorite. I just won a pair from Melissa. Can't wait to wear them. Well until next time: God Bless Lynn!!

Leeann said...

Awesome info. I love pearls and feel that they make any outfit look special, whether it's formal or casual. Have you heard about them being bad luck though? I read that they symbolize tears and that wearing them on your wedding day is basically a curse for an unhappy, tear-filled marriage. I always thought that when I get married one day I'd wear pearls, but I am so supersticious that now I'm afraid =( Have you heard this story?

White Iris Designs said...

Lynn, thanks for your wonderful information..I think that women of today tend to shy away from pearls because they are considered "old Fashioned" ...but there are so many different colors and styles of them now...I love to use them in very none traditional ways in my jewelry designs. xo