A Lesson in Pearls August 17 2014, 0 Comments

Pearls…the most graceful bead, my favorite, and my mom’s favorite and signature vintage piece. Wild pearls, or those that spontaneously form in the wild, are natural and the most valuable kind of pearl. Cultured pearls are grown intentionally from pearl oysters or freshwater mussels. Salt water cultured pearls are grown in the ocean and are typically larger, 8 to 18 mm. The akoya pearl, originating in the 1920’s, is a specialty of Japanese pearl farms. The Japanese have mastered the salt water pearl and these gems are known for their white color and round shape. The Tahitian pearl is a type of saltwater black pearl, the color coming from the oysters black lips. Freshwater pearls are grown in lakes or rivers, a freshwater environment, 3 to 12 mm in size, and the shape is round or just slightly out of round. These are mom’s choice pearls, they can be grown with different colors, and offer the imperfect shape that makes each piece of vintage jewelry unique. The freshwater pearl can be flat, round, oval, off round…depending on the oyster that created it. Each one unique! This week check out the “Pearls, Pearls, Pearls” page on Tammy Auther Designs. And don’t miss the Birds Nests!