Classic and sophisticated, pearls are among the most elegant, timeless, and luxurious pieces of jewelry you can adorn your body with. You might have seen these iridescent beauties in your mother or grandmother’s jewelry collection, but how much do you really know about the month of June’s birthstone? As local jewelry experts in Phoenix, AZ, allow us to share with you some of the most fascinating facts about pearls.
Pearls are available in different shades and colors
Although the first thing that usually comes to mind when we think of pearls is a milky circular stone, they are not always white. Pearls come in an array of different hues, such as yellow-gold, champagne pink, chocolate brown, mystic black, and a plethora of other stunning shades.
The color of a pearl depends on multiple factors, including: (1) the host mollusc that created the pearl; (2) the condition of the water in which that mollusc lived in; (3) any disease the mollusc might have had; (4) nutrient supply.
Pearls have a long, rich history associated with royalty
Describing pearls as “retro” or “antique” is an understatement. People have been using and wearing pearls since the beginning of civilization. In fact, the most ancient surviving piece of pearl jewelry dates back to 520 BC. Known as the “Susa necklace,” archeologists found it in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess. The sought-after royal pearls are currently on display at the Museum of Louvre in Paris, France.
Pearls were also tremendously popular during the Roman Empire (27 BC to 476 AD). At the time, women of wealth wore clothing and jewelry embellished with glistening pearls.
Today, pearls continue to adorn various fashion pieces, including jewelry, clothing, handbags, shoes, and even high-end smartphone cases. Chanel, for instance, is known for using pearls to add a vintage charm to their line of costume jewelry.
The discovery of diamonds affected the popularity of pearls
The demand for pearls and pearl jewelry had waned during the 1450s when faceted gemstones, especially diamonds, became more accessible. During the 18th Century, pearl production began to decline even further, as imitations became available.
Despite having to compete with other, more valuable gemstones, the popularity of pearl jewelry has resurfaced in recent years. Michelle Obama, Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are some of the famous faces who adore wearing pearls.
Round pearls are rare
Coming across a perfectly round pearl is uncommon, as these pearls are among the rarest and the most valuable. In general, pearls are available in five basic shapes: round, semi-round, drop, baroque, and circle baroque.
Elizabeth Taylor owned the most popular pearl in the world
“La Peregrina,” which translates to “The Wanderer,” is the world’s most famous pearl. Originally weigheing 223.8 grains, a negro slave discovered the pear-shaped white pearl in the Gulf of Panama in 1513. Many famous people owned La Peregrin throughout history, including Mary Tudor of England, Napoleon III, Phillip II of Spain, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Pearls may not sparkle and shine as much as diamonds, but they are every posh woman’s best friend. And, as Jackie Kennedy once said, “Pearls are always appropriate.” Remember these facts the next time you wear your fabulous pearl jewels.
We buy pearls!
If you are looking to sell your pearl jewelry for as long as they are Mikimoto or designer pearls, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry is buying. Complete this online form to request a free jewelry appraisal today.