The pearl, known for its mark of elegance, has become a staple in the wardrobe of fashionistas and celebrities alike. Stars such as Audrey Hepburn have solidified that pearls are a timeless statement-piece, but their beauty has affected generations of people. While we wear pearls out and about, their origin begins in a far different place. The journey of a strand of pearls on your neck starts deep in the ocean.
The pearl is unique in the fact that, unlike most gems that come from the earth, the pearl comes from oysters. Pearls are formed within an oyster when an outside stimulus irritates the oysters inside environment. This stimulus can be natural such as a parasite or artificially made like a bead. In order to protect itself, the oyster created a fluid-coating to cover the intruder. This coating is called nacre, and it is layered over and over until a pearl forms. Pearls that get harvested for the sake of jewelry usually take around three years and onward to develop.
Pearl farms are now the most common practice for cultivating pearls, but there is still the possibility of finding naturally made pearls. Farmed pearls are monitored and cared for in either saltwater or freshwater. When the oysters mature, they are harvested and opened up to reveal the rare beauty within.
From the harvest, the chosen pearls are matched by color and size. They are paired with pearls of parallel quality for stranded necklaces or have delicate holes drilled in for earrings and rings. The process of turning pearls into jewelry is detail-oriented work that requires skill.
From the ocean, pearls have made their way to adorn many of the most coveted pieces of jewelry. It is no wonder that pearls are as valuable and loved as they are! Each pearl is unique from the next, and they all survived harsh ocean conditions and years of maturing to be a part of our fashion today.
Pearls in San Diego
Curious where you can find a precious strand of unique pearls? Look no further than San Diego’s #1 jewelry store, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers! We’re your one-stop-shop for an incredible selection of new and vintage fine jewelry, custom jewelry design, and jewelry repair. Visit us today, and let our friendly staff assist you in finding the perfect piece that speaks to you and your unique style. No matter your fine jewelry needs, Leo’s has got you covered!