Pearls are the Little Black Dress of the jewellery world. Stylish, versatile and effortlessly timeless, they should make their way into every girl’s wardrobe.
But do you know what to look for when making such a strategic investment? And how to care for them once you do?
Here are our pointers…
Pearls: Origins and Types
There are different types of pearls: fresh water or salt water, cultured or natural.
Cultured fresh water pearls are the most common, while natural pearls are very rare and very expensive.
Pictured: Cross Pearl Earrings
The South Sea pearls, which are grown off the coast of Western Australia (our home state), fall into this last category. They are the highest priced, due to their size, lustre and colour.
Favourites of ours here at Love Is Jewellery, they tend to have thicker layers of nacre (the outer coating of pearls) which makes them excellent to work with. Plus, any imperfections or scratches can be polished out, so they will wear better over time.
Characteristics Of Good Pearls
When buying pearls, the most important aspects to keep an eye on are colour, lustre and finish. The fewer inclusions they have, the more valuable they are.
Of course, their shape plays an important part in the decision process. Spherical and drop-shaped pearls are the go-to for jewellery making. However, we adore pearls of all shapes and we love to work them into our pieces.
Round pearls: Pearl Studs
Round pearls: Big Pearl Studs
Button pearls: Little Button Pearls
Button pearls: Large Button Pearls
Baroque pearls: The Playful Octopus
Black Tahitian pearls: Black Tahitian Pearl & Zircon Stud Earrings
Black Tahitian pearls: The Lovely Bones Necklace
How To Clean Pearls
As the de facto stars of any jewellery collection, pearls demand attention and care.
They have a naturally porous composition, so they absorb moisture from their environment.
Knowing this, it is essential to store them in a dry place.
And, of course, you should make sure they don't come in contact with water, perfumes or creams, as they can warp and even discolour. A good rule of thumb is to put them on last, after getting dressed and doing your make-up.
When needed, pearls can be gently wiped clean with a soft cloth.
The most wonderful thing about pearls is that the more you wear them, the better they look. They absorb the natural oils from your skin, which makes them a touch shinier and keeps them forever beautiful.