Girls Love Pearls

(originally posted Feb 7, 2012 by

This girl, especially!

Hi, I’m Phylly from SendingLoveGallery.
From the time my parents gave me my first little pearl earrings for newly pierced ears, I was hooked. Pearls are tiny miracles! They are one of the the world’s few organic gemstones, and are created by oysters and mussels; and these days with help from pearl farmers. The other organic gems are amber, coral, ivory and jet. This post is about freshwater pearls, since they are the most economical and accessible for designers and buyers.

A freshwater pearl is formed in a mussel which secrets nacre (proounced Nay-ker) around an irritant. These beautiful layers of nacre are also known as mother-of-pearl, and are really calcium carbonate!

Freshwater pearls have long been found in mussels in Japanese rivers and lake beds. Natural freshwater pearls have also been found in the Mississippi River Delta in the U.S. But these days Chinese pearl farmers are producing most of the freshwater pearls available from the mussels Hyriopsis cumingi, or Triangle shell, and Hyriopsis schlegeli, or Biwa shell. Japanese production of freshwater pearls has ended due to industrial pollution of the lakes, so China has taken over production of the Biwa type pearl.

This is an unusual heart shaped biwa pearl, that formed when two biwa “sticks” grew together into this shape. The other biwa pearls on the string were the more usual stick shape.
The cockscombe mussel is responsible for little “rice-crispy-like” pearls like the ones dangling from these earrings.
Shaped freshwater pearls are created by implanting a bead form into the mussel.  This coin pearl was created using an implanted round shape.
This is another example of a coin pearl, this time in a teardrop shape.

Keishi pearls are free-form pearls that develop in the mussel. These fine silver earrings have a series of keishi pearls forming a drop.

Because pearls are organic, they are more delicate than other gemstones and need a bit of special care. To avoid scratching store pearl jewelry separately in a soft cloth or pouch, or in a cloth lined jewelry box. Put on your pearl jewelry after you’ve finished with your make-up, hairspray and perfume to minimize getting these things on them, which will harm the finish. Get in the habit of cleaning your pearls after wearing them by wiping them with a soft, damp cloth. To remove any accumulated build-up pearls can be washed occasionally in a very mild soap solution with a soft cloth. Then rinse and pat dry. If you have pearls that are strung on silk, remember to get them re-strung occasionally.

Take care of your lovely little Pearl Miracles, and they will stay in beautiful condition for your lifetime and be enjoyed by the next generation. Thanks for looking at my pearl creations! You can find more beautiful freshwater pearl jewelry from my JewelryonEtsy teammates by searching jetteam freshwater pearl : )