I am no expert in these fields and what I have written is meant to shed a little light and humour on a subject that could take years to explain.
Semi-precious gemstones are mined all over the world. They are beautiful and interesting even with their inclusions, optical phenomena, rough cut, faceted or highly polished characteristics gives me, the designer insight into how this stone would look its best. The family tree for Agates and Quartz is vast incorporating familiar stones such as Jasper, Carnelian, Tourmaline and Tiger’s Eye. Black Onyx, Aquamarine, Amethyst and Garnets are also favourites. Even fine gemstones such as Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires and Diamonds have a semi-precious classification. Just for interests sake, look up the Chakra healing properties of your favourite stone.
A little about pearls
It is common knowledge that pearls come from oysters. Oysters are part of the mollusk family and there are lots of little mollusks that can and do make pearls. In nature a grain of sand or small irritant would find its way into the mollusk’s soft tissue. The mollusk would produce layer upon layer of “nacre” a lustrous protein to cover the irritant. In nature, these pearls would take many, many years to reach a size where they would be used in fine jewellery. They are rare, highly sought after and expensive.
Welcome the cultured pearl, affordable, farmed and also known as “a fresh water pearl”.
The same thing happens with cultured pearls. Humans put the irritant into the mollusk. In cultured pearls the mollusk, generally over a span of a few years will deposit many layers of nacre on whatever shape and size has been seeded into it. Different shapes and different sizes will naturally result in different pearls. Add to that, mollusks have a mind of their own and if it’s itchy in one spot then a little more nacre will be deposited in that area. The result is lumps and bumps and a unique, one-of-a-kind pearl.
Tradition would have it that pearls should be as round as possible. Luckily today we see the value in the original and unique shapes pearls come in. They are no longer meant for weddings and Sunday dress-up. Pearls are unique unto themselves and beautiful. Wear them every chance and occasion you can.