Iridescent, glamourous and iconic; pearls are well known for their ability to dress up even the plainest black dress, whilst having a neutral tone which compliments every skin tone. As the June birthstone and the 30th wedding anniversary, the pearl symbolises wealth and luck, whilst giving the impression of purity – the ideal addition to any bride to be this Summer!
We take you through some interesting facts which you may not know about this classic gemstone!
Natural pearls have been coveted as a sign of wealth and beauty for thousands of years, eluding glamour and classic style that can be passed from generation to generation. One of the most famous women in history to own a spectacular pearl was Mary Tudor, also known as bloody Mary. She was gifted the large pearl suspended from a diamond-set cap as a wedding gift – a little different from the coveted pastel kitchen aids and champagne glasses we get as wedding gifts today!
There are four main subcategories of cultured pearls, each come from a different type of mollusc and have the ability to grow to a different size and appearance. The four types are;
Akoya pearls are usually white in colour, grow to a medium size and usually have a good lustre. South Sea pearls are famous for the large size and golden colour, while Tahitian pearls are also large in size but have a dark body colour. Fresh Water cultured pearls are the most varied in appearance and are used in lots of affordable jewellery.
Whilst pearls may seem robust, they are delicate and are vulnerable to damage and therefore to keep your pearls looking their best, it is important to treat them with care. Repeated exposure to cosmetics and perfume will erode the top layers of nacre leaving the pearl with a chalky appearance. To avoid this, apply perfume at least 20 minutes before wearing pearls and avoid placing pearls on areas of the body with make-up. In addition, do not clean your pearls with an abrasive solution, warm water and soft cloth is safest. Top tip for picking the perfect pearl for you -pearls lift your skin tone creating an attractive glow, so try on lots of different types of pearls to see how the shades look against your skin!