Pearls treated with care can last many hundreds of years. Here are a few
practical tips on wearing them and taking proper care of them.
Being of organic calcareous origin, pearls are sensitive to the weather. If exposed to extreme heat they can dry out and become cracked.
Whatever affects calcium and organic material will also alter the pearl. It is therefore essential to avoid direct contact with perfumes (a pearl necklace should always be put on after spraying your neck with perfume, never before), perspiration, detergents and chemicals of all kinds (especially chlorine), deodorants and substances containing acids.
Pearl jewellery should be cleaned regularly with a soft damp cloth. Each pearl must be cleaned individually and scrupulously, including difficult to reach corners. You should also store your pearls in a separate pouch or wrap them in soft material, in order to prevent them from coming into contact with other jewellery.
The nacre is the very essence of a pearl.
Because of its direct effect on the lustre, the nacre is a point of essential value for classifying pearls.
There are no universally accepted criteria for cataloguing and classifying pearls as instead exist for diamonds.
This lack of criteria plays its part in consolidating the poor knowledge of pearls and sometimes creates a certain degree of incomprehension as regards differences in price between one pearl and another, which can in certain instances seem unjustifiable or in any case somewhat unfounded.
In gemology it is said that small differences in quality can lead to great differences in price.
South Sea pearls are easily recognised by their large size. In general they have diameters ranging from 9 mm to 15 mm. The diameters of certain rare
examples may be even bigger (16-20 mm).
South Sea pearls require no artificial treatments or colouring before being put onto the market. By virtue of such prestige and beauty they are considered “the Queens of pearls and the pearls of Queens”.
Akoya pearls are cultivated inside a bivalve mollusc called Pinctata Fucata Martensii.
Due to the small size of the oyster (approx. 7-8 cm), these pearls have a diameter of between 2 and 9 mm, they rarely reach 10 mm. Originating in Japan, the Akoya is cultivated according to a tradition dating back over a century.
Freshwater Pearls come in a virtually infinite variety of shapes, colour and size.
Their diameter varies from 2-3 mm to over 10 mm. The molluscs used to grow them come from the Unionidae family. They can be found in numerous rivers, lakes and ponds. On the outside they are usually a brown colour, are oval in shape and can reach lengths of 30 cm and widths of 20 cm.