Since times immemorial, pearls have been used widely to make stunning jewelry. More than two thousand years ago in China, the first pearl was used an offering for the emperor, as pearls in those times were regarded to be extremely valuable.
Naturally, the royal family was keen on owning these immaculate pearls to use them to make exquisite accessories. Pearls were not only used for making jewelry but also used to adorn the royal crowns. Soon, pearls were being used to make elegant furniture and even decorate tombs.
Historical evidence suggests that Queen Dowager Cixi’s tomb was decorated using 20,000 pearls and one of the pearls was almost as large as an egg. In olden times, natural pearls were used and pearl hunting was therefore in full swing.
Being not so easily found, pearls were priceless for the rich and elite class. The obsession for pearls grew so much that common people were not allowed to wear pearls in some countries making it a privilege only of the nobles. Pearls today signify purity and are synonymous with timeless beauty and grace.
In recent times, the development of pearl cultivation has given birth to cultured pearls that have given a new meaning to pearl jewelry. Cultured pearls are readily available everywhere and are not too heavy on the pocket. Pearls come in different shapes and sizes and can be easily adapted to make an array of unique designs. When selecting pearl jewelry, you need to consider several factors such as the type of pearl you may want to have, the quality of pearls, shape, size, color, and style.
Type: Freshwater pearls may be your best bet if you are looking for variety in colors and shapes however, these are not as shiny as saltwater pearls that have more luster. Akoya pearls are quite similar to freshwater pearls and are generally found in Japan. As compared to freshwater pearls they have more luster and are also quite symmetrical. The Australian South Sea pearls are larger than other varieties and usually cost more. Tahitian pearls are supposed to be very expensive and are as large as South Sea pearls.
Quality: The quality of pearls is determined on the basis of their size, shape, surface, and luster. As a rule of thumb, pearls that have good luster, round shape, smooth surface, and are big in size are the ones that are usually most expensive and also very rare.
Shape: While pearls come in different shapes such as irregular, teardrop, oval and round shape, the round ones are the most expensive of the lot.
Size: Cost will increase as the size of the pearl increases and jewelry made using big pearls is therefore extremely expensive.
Color: Although pearls are available in different colors, the value of pearls remain unaffected no matter what color it is.
Style: Choose a style that suits your age, personality, and of course, the occasion for which you are buying. You may choose very elegant but small pearl jewelry pieces if you wish to wear them at work.
You can continue to flaunt your pearl jewelry for years and even pass them on to future generations. All you need to do is take proper care and clean it after each use to retain its luster. When not in use, pearl jewelry must be tucked away in soft cloth bags or jewelry pouches away from sunlight.