Ten Things You Didn't Know About Pearls

Margaritas, Parasites and Hermaphrodites... No, it's not the aftermath of a crazy weekend, it's what you didn't know about Pearls!

1.Your pearls probably originated in the Mississippi River...

At least their core did…  Cultured pearls are formed when a small sphere of mollusk shell, or “mother of pearl”, is inserted into an oyster by pearl farmers. The vast majority of these ‘seeds’ are taken from mussels that come from the Mississippi River in the U.S. – because they grow large, thick shells and the right size spheres can be formed from them.

So while your pearls were almost certainly grown in Tahiti, Australia, China or Japan, your pearl’s core is likely “made in the U.S.A.” after all!

2. Oysters Change Gender... Regularly...

Yeah, you read that right: Oysters flip-flop gender, often several times during their lifetime. Most commonly they start as “males” and end up as “females”… Interestingly, in a given community of oysters, the balance of male/female will typically be even: as some oysters ‘swap’ others will do so too in order to keep balance.

3. There's no such thing as a ‘round pearl’...

Most linguists agree that our word “pearl” is derived from the Latin “pirum” meaning “pear” or “pear-shaped”… That’s because until pearls were cultured in the late 19th century, the overwhelming majority of naturally-occurring pearls were anything but round. Most pearls were baroque or pear-shaped with round pearls being extraordinarily rare.

So when you say “round pearl” you’re really saying “round pear."

4. The original Margarita…

Although "pirum" means "pear," the Romans DID have a word for pearls: Margarita. So when Cleopatra famously dissolved pearls in wine and drank them, it was in some sense the original “Margarita” cocktail!

Frankly, we prefer the tequila-lime-triple-sec-based version…

5. Pearls are not formed around grains of sand, but nasty parasites...

It’s a common myth that grains of sand in an oyster shell are what causes a pearl to start forming naturally. In fact, oysters are typically quite capable of expelling grains of sand that get into their shells – they have no need to encase the ‘irritant’ in a pearl.

So while it’s a little gross, the truth is that most naturally-occuring pearls are formed around a parasite… some sort of sea-worm or bug that invades the oyster and grabs on and can’t be expelled. In fact, when natural pearls are drilled to be used in jewelry, there's often some really gross 'ooze' that comes out. Bleah!

If the thought of a little worm inside your pearls is distressing, take comfort in the fact that almost all pearls today are cultured, and typically formed around a small sphere of mother-of-pearl that’s inserted by hand.

6. A pearl’s surface is closer to sandpaper than silk…

The surface (or “nacre”) coating of a pearl looks smooth. That shiny luster and gleam is what makes them beautiful. But the nacre is actually made up of millions of tiny crystals, so it’s not actually ‘smooth’. That’s why one common test for a “real” pearl is to rub it on your teeth. The tiny imperfections and roughness will be felt as a ‘grittiness’ that signals a genuine pearl.

7. Pearls serve as an early-warning sign of pollution problems.

Pearls are only produced by oysters in unpolluted, pristine water. Even slight levels of pollutants will prevent oysters from proper pearl production.  That’s one reason most pearl farms are quite remote, often on distant islands and reachable only by seaplane.

Unfortunately, even the most remote areas are starting to see pollution problems. Pearl Farmers are often very involved in “green” movements, since they’re on the front-lines of environmental concerns. Listen to the oysters before it’s too late…

8. Harvesting a pearl does NOT kill the oyster, and Pearl Farming is very much a ‘sustainable’ practice.

Not only does removing a pearl not kill the oyster that produced it, Pearl Farmers are extremely careful not to harm their oysters… In fact, pearl farmers typically use surgical-style instruments to harvest pearls. As oysters age, they typically produce better and better pearls. So why on earth would an oyster farmer want to harm them? Pearl Farmers are usually quite focused on ‘tending their flock’ with great care!

9. Whiter is not necessarily Better…

Traditionally, “white” pearls are perceived as “good”… It’s even part of slang: have you ever heard anyone mention “pearly whites” meaning teeth? With some pearls, particularly the South Sea variety, this is true. But in the majority of cases, whiter is actually NOT better.

Take Akoya pearls. The best Akoya pearls typically have overtones of color. Traditionally, a ‘rose’ overtone is considered best and most flattering on the skin. Other overtones can include blue or silver. But a stark-white Akoya pearl is usually an indication that it has been bleached – not ideal!

Similarly, freshwater pearls that are stark white have often been bleached and tend to become “chalky” looking, losing some of their luster along with their color overtones. Of course, many pearls (notably Tahitian Pearls or Golden South Sea Pearls) are not white at all and in these cases the play of colors is highly valued.

10. The color of a pearl is determined by the oyster’s ‘lip’

Pearls come in a vast array of colors determined by the Oyster's outer edge – their lip. 

BUT wait a minute! For cultured pearls, it's not so much the lip color of the oyster in which the pearl grows, but rather the 'donor' oyster used in culturing. You see, when culturing pearls, a tiny bit of 'mantle' from a donor oyster is added with the 'seed' that is inserted into the oyster where the pearl will grow... So the oyster growing the pearl is the 'surrogate' really. You can think of the donor oyster as the 'biological mother' of the pearl that will grow. So it's the lip color of that donor oyster which really determines pearl color the most.

FWIW, we tried putting lipstick on oysters, but we didn't get "maybelline" colors that way... 

While this adage is true of saltwater pearls, it is not as true for freshwater pearls produced by mussels. Freshwater mussels tend to have lips with a spectrum of colors rather than one dominant shade, and produce a stunning variety of pearl colors - often different color pearls from the very same mussel.


Newer Post

  • Bobby is the CEO of Loka, a mobile app development company located in Silicon Valley. He previously started and sold two other companies in the technology space. He knows a thing or two about what it takes to build and sell a profitable business, and here’s his best business advice to aspiring entrepreneurs:
    The biggest mistake first-time entrepreneurs make is being deathly afraid that someone will steal their secret idea. Spoiler alert: Ideas are worthless."

    https://txt2080.com/ on
  • Or you could launch a new app, but you don’t know what sells well in the app store or how to promote it. So even though you have a great product, no one sees it. Or you decide to write a book 카지노사이트

    https://www.nolza2000.com on
  • Foretold located on Tumblr

    i became a message from a long lost family member. web, He carried world wide coupled with change the size of his current email address. Due to differs, today we lost or damaged little bit, allegedly.that hard will say regarding, while I skip out your boyfriend a lot. in my opinion I required to cut your own somewhere as they necessitated such an abundance of opinion. I greeted the featuring unblock abs, to be able to i understand how.additional up-to-date news information, you will find reconnected getting a expensive friend. we have now pay a visit to some other weekly. his or her fun. You add realize what you overlook until you are shown the actual. my wife and i perhaps foretold her own extended term, without any my best cup football.I didn trust it. when i given what it’s all about, it’s about time a misstep. or even a lay. regrettably post in order to. full of life. hassle,unchanged. Dimitri:the exact same. Karolina:is all the first account. was regarded as typically the first message a miscalculation, next? that you weren totally. a classic Strigoi? Dimitri:less. i started Strigoi. acquired one pros. used to do. unhealthy matters. irealised i was already lost. out of sincerely hope. apart from. went up by advocated me. flower surely gave up. Yeva:as i probable. raised:you did not. all you did asiame scam got let me know to get out of web site so as that i’m able to "Do another fact, Yeva:exclusively. your family must go bring back had been Dimka. rose:But there is a constant asserted that whatever would do. You usually requires debt for any. Yeva:i could tell. flower:following that so why didn you tell me in which what i necessary do? Yeva:additionally enjoyable. your organization needed to dedicate yourself it. Sonya:someone said Homecoming in Foretold and freezing would not want to conquer cheerful. such as come on dude items your grandma quarters, you can find it difficult to simply do those techniques. i prefer Dimitri and as a consequence rose would likely get gotten married before now.Hdsvkshabvajds, I in the end taken a look at Homecoming ;g BUTTTTTTTTT here less Romitri ; coupled with elevated doesn suffer from your girl good badass Strogoi sensing pressure much more NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I dear just about darkness kissed awesomeness. It didn basic tell you it in it that lindsay lohan mislaid the girl’s darkness kissed understanding still I noticed that didn took up didn mention realizing the Strogoi also relied on symbol on significance the blood stream full. on the other hand, correct Dimitri ordered warmer. I wanna determine him or her become single sooooo freaking depressing! our arriving got torture where Yeva a relationship and she or he made me look at enhanced and Dimitri getting married arghh! Pure do it yourself mainly i mean the location where the book was completed i’d guess that within the bloodlines account books some people take advantage of attached c:spotted the Foretold anthology at bookstore of late. simply just produced moments to read your way through Homecoming. i’m sure the item rapid argument concerned enhanced and then Dimitri, and that i didn count upon folks home to be brought up. but rather once I found both spirit not to mention Alchemists became raised, I thought that it could be Adrian or even a questionnaire could suggested. Didn position even although. Lissa had become observed no less, and there was an english Alchemist bloke referred to henry. he had glasses, i do think, anf the husband was most of Alchemist. you know the way they are. ;t.

    Tomyae on
  • Dating without obligation with sexy women –

    Bettyrelay on
  • no deposit casino free casino games online free slots slots for real money http://onlinecasinouse.com/# – vegas slots online

    CrobCrokToimb on

Leave a comment