From the first recorded pearl artifacts in Mesopotamia in 2300BC to the necklace or earrings you have your eye on (or might even be wearing), pearls have been prized jewelry stones for what seems like forever.
Let’s take a look at some cool facts you may not know about the first of 3 June birthstones…the beautiful pearl.
1) It’s ALIVE!!! Well, not really…however, pearls ARE the only jewels created by a living animal. All others come from the earth and are typically igneous in origin.
2) Valuable saltwater pearls are rare. Truth is, they’re very rare. A natural saltwater pearl that is of valuable gemstone quality is found at a rate of less than one in ten thousand wild oysters.
3) Saltwater pearls (known as Akoya, Tahitian or South Sea pearls) come from oysters, while freshwater pearls are extracted from mussels.
4) While oysters and mussels are the sources of gem pearls, the truth is that all mollusks are capable of creating pearls…though not necessarily of the same quality.
5) Have you ever met a pearl farmer? Due to the popularity of pearls, there are freshwater pearl farms! China produces the most freshwater pearls from their pearl farms.
6) About 95% of worldwide pearl production is freshwater pearls. While less valuable than the rare saltwater pearls, they are still very popular gemstones.
7) Freshwater pearl farms range from a fishpond on a farm to large lakes with hundreds of thousands of mussels or even more!
8) Oysters that grow pearls can usually only grow one pearl at a time, while one mussel can grow between 30 and 50 pearls at a time.
9) No two pearls are alike. All pearls have some imperfections and each one is truly one of a kind.
10) Pearl oysters not only create these beautiful gemstones, their shell is also valuable and beautiful in jewelry. You may have heard of it…it’s called Mother of Pearl.
If you are interested in pearl jewelry or have questions about pearls or other gemstones, give us a call, fill out our contact form or stop in and see us!