Frequently Asked Questions
What are cultured pearls?
Pearls are formed by oyster, with an assist from man. Pearl cultivators insert a small shell nucleus into the fleshy interior of a pearl oyster. The oyster does the rest! As an act of self-defense against an intruder inserted, the oyster will cover the nucleus with nacreous material which hardens and forms the pearl.
How does one tell the difference between a cultured pearl and a fake pearl bead?
It is easy. Compare them side by side. One of the most obvious differences is the depth of lustre of the cultured pearl. Another method is to rub them gently across the edge of you teeth. If it feels smooth, it is an imitation pearl. If it feels textured, it is a cultured pearl.
Are cultured pearls found in different shapes?
Yes, there are a variety of shapes - baroque, drop, oval, mabe (half sphere) - as well as the round. Since the cultured pearl is formed by a natural process, the shapes cannot be predetermined.
What are the different styles of cultured pearl necklaces?
The two basic types of necklaces are the graduated and the uniform. The classic graduated necklace of matched cultured pearls ranging in size from small at the back to large in front. The uniform necklace composed of pearls of identical size.
What are the elements of value to look for?
Lustre or brilliance, color, size, surface and shape. A cultured pearl necklace should be well matched in all qualities. The color should be chosen on the basis of the wearer's skin tone, shade of hair, and what is most flattering.
How are cultured pearls measured?
In millimeters. Large cultured pearls are usually the most costly, but the other "value points" -such as lustre, shape, surface and color - must be considered when making a purchase.
What other cultured pearl jewellery is there besides necklaces?
There are cultured pearl bracelets, rings, earrings, pins and brooches, and pendants. Tasteful cultured pearl jewellery for men includes tie-pins, cuff-links and formal shirt studs.