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Fashion-Forward Cultured Pearls

The most popular style of pearls today are freshwater pearls in baroque (irregular) shapes. They are not only affordable, but offer a range of interesting and beautiful shapes, sizes and natural pastel colours.  They have a beautiful iridescent shimmer.

Their shapes vary significantly. Here are some examples:

  • Round and near-round

  • Oval

  • Tear-drop

  • Rice

  • Seed

  • Irregular with tails

  • Potato

  • Button

  • Stick

  • Coin

Their surface may be smooth or ringed.  There is a growing trend towards oval and irregular pearls that have rings around them. These contemporary shapes offer a fashion-forward style for a look that is “not your mother’s pearls”.

They vary in size ranging from 3-4 mm seed pearls to 11-12 mm. Some may be even larger.

Pearl strands are strung on double silk threads and hand-knotted between each pearl. They should be stored flat as the silk threads can stretch if hung. The knots prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, and in the event your strand breaks, it avoids loss of pearls.

Pearls can maintain their beauty for a lifetime. They should never be exposed to harsh chemicals such as hair spray, perfume, or metal cleansers.

Beware of Imitations

Shell pearls are imitation beads that are made in a laboratory from the shell of an oyster. They obtain their iridescence by the use of an adhesive paste made of oil and ground up fish scales or mother-of-pearl. Some are sold with branded names which may confuse buyers into thinking they are purchasing a cultured pearl.

Cultured Pearls

The pearl jewelry sold on this website is made with cultured freshwater and akoya pearls. They are not imitation beads. “Cultured”, simply means they are grown on pearl farms.  Freshwater pearls are grown using freshwater mussels that are nucleated by inserting a piece of tissue. Layers of nacre form around the tissue, and the resulting pearl is harvested.  They tend to be more irregular in shape as a result of this method of nucleation. Their baroque shapes add interest and style.  Akoya pearls are grown in saltwater mollusks.  They are nucleated by inserting a bead around which the layers of nacre form.  They tend to be more rounded as a result of this method of nucleation.


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