WHAT ARE CULTURED PEARLS?
Cultured Pearls are grown by oyster farmers under tightly controlled conditions since natural pearls are wildly rare most pearls today are cultured. Cultured Pearls are created by implanting a tiny bead made out of mussel/oyster shells into the mussel/oyster, over time the mussel/oyster forms layer after layer of "nacre" over this irritant. This "nacre" -a natural secretion from of minerals and proteins, gives the pearl its strength, and iridescent luster.
Natural as well as cultured pearls can be freshwater or saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are cultivated in mussels, while saltwater pearls are cultivated in oysters.
The terms "body color", as well as "overtone" are used to determine a pearl's color. Body colors are either cool-toned hues, such as green and blue, or warm-toned hues, such as red and yellow. Overtone refers to the color that appears to laminate over the surface of the pearl. The most common of pearls are the white body color pearls with an off-white/creamy colored overtone. However pearls do come in various colors from yellow, to pink, to silver, and even black. A pearl's color is determined by the type of mollusk and water in which it was created, as well as the initial bead that has been implanted.
The Nacre that the mollusks secrete create the beautiful intense luster of the pearl. The thicker the layer of Nacre the higher the quality of pearl, therefore consider that the larger the pearl the more layers of Nacre it contains and the more deep luster it displays.
PAVOI provides the highest quality of the round shaped pearls. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest of pearl shapes. Our line of Akoya Pearls are some of the rounder Pearls. Pearls can be classified into seven different shapes:
- Round: Perfectly spherical - the shape most people think of when they think of a pearl, and due to their relative rarity and "classic" nature, they are highly desirable.
- Near-round: Not perfectly round, instead they are slightly flattened or elongated rather than being a perfect sphere. Nonetheless, they are so nearly perfect that they, too, are classified as spherical.
- Semi-round: Semi-round and similar to near round.
- Oval: Shaped like an oval - narrower at the ends than they are in the centre, ovals are symmetrical in shape.
- Button: Fattened to some degree, this makes them resemble a button. These pearls are often used in stud earrings where the flattened side can be attached to the setting. Button Pearls are symmetrical.
- Drop: Pear or teardrop-shaped are symmetrical. The drop can either be "long" or "short" depending on its proportions. These pearls make attractive earrings or pendants.
- Baroque: Both non-symmetrical and irregular in shape, the baroque pearl can be purely abstract in its shape or it can resemble a cross, stick or some other shape.
- Semi-Baroque: Slightly irregular in their shape, for example, a pearl which might otherwise be considered an oval, button or drop pearl but which is not symmetrical in nature, would be considered semi-baroque.
Pearl sizes are vastly determined by the type of pearl. Freshwater pearls tend to be smaller and range approximately from 3.0-7.0mm, while Akoya Pearls tend to be larger in size and range approximately from 6.0-8.5mm.
What is a Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic zirconia (also known as CZ) is similar to a diamond with its brilliance and crystal clarity, but it is a synthesized (man-made) crystalline material that is colorless, hard, and flawless.