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ANNE JACQUES crystal COLLECTION

 

 

The pearls of rich literature, kings and queens are not the pearls you know today.

 

In fact, before the 1920’s very few people actually owned real pearls. Most pearl jewelry was reserved for noble blood and the few who could afford the natural pearls discovered from time to time beneath the ocean depths.  The common person was left with ceramic imitations of real pearl jewelry. Even famous pearl flappers of the 1920”s had to settle for look-alikes.

 

But by late 1920’s everything changed. It was then when a Japanese man named Mikimoto developed the technique to mass produce pearls. Mikimoto artificially induced an irritation into oysters and forced them to secrete the pearl forming nacre that we prize so highly. The result was a pearl industry based upon this technique called “akoya”. Today, pearls are available for everyone and affordable for most.

 

“Akoya”, also know as saltwater pearls or cultured pearls, are distinctive for their very round appearance. This is due to a hard irritation like a bone, shell, mussel pearl, bead, etc inserted into the oyster meat. The hard core inserted does not dissolve during the culture process within the oyster and provides a firm foundation on which a round pearl is formed.

 

By the late 20th century, freshwater pearls or “mantle tissue” pearls appeared on the scene offering unique shapes and colors never before available.

Like their saltwater cousins, freshwater pearls are also cultured pearls.  To “culture” simply means someone artificially inserted an irritation into the oyster to produce a pearl within the meat of oyster. This occurs both in the saltwater and freshwater pearls we know today.

 

However, unlike saltwater pearls, freshwater pearls are not round due to the mantle tissue (or membrane) that was inserted into the oyster. This mantle tissue is a membrane taken from the oyster and re-inserted into the oyster to irritate and create a pearl formation. Because the mantle tissue is pliable, it dissolves during the culture process and allows for a pearl to be formed solid throughout, but not necessarily round.  This solid pearl is a trade off for the roundness of the saltwater akoya.

 

So which is better?   Both!

 

Cultured freshwater pearls are solid, and offer a wide variety of colors and shapes. They are not known for their roundness.

 

Cultured saltwater pearls are limited in colors and contain a round coating of nacre covering the original irritation. Built on a firm hard foundation, they are known for their roundness, but are not solid due to the hard core left inside.

 

Because Mikimoto started the popular “akoya” cultured process we know today in saltwater pearls, the pearl industry still rates the saltwater “akoya” at a higher value than the mantle tissue freshwater pearl.

 

It seems that because Mikimoto liked very round pearls; it is round pearls that maintain a higher value among gemologists. However Mikimoto never actually wore pearls himself. If he had, he would have probably preferred the rich variety or colors and shapes found in freshwater pearls.

 

It really doesn’t make any difference to the oyster.  He has to work just as hard to make this…the most beautiful jewelry created especially for ladies. And with such a variety of shapes and colors, pearls are the ultimate fashion statement for any season or occasion. No matter whether they are freshwater or saltwater.

 

Freshwater, saltwater, round or baroque (meaning off- round) …….the only organic gemstone on the planet makes any lady young or small more attractive and sophisticated.  

Celebrate Pearls!  

wholesale pricing direct from pearl farms  for over 15 years

 

contact :   ReallyMarvelousStuff@gmail.com    RMS Enterprises  615-426-8774   Nashville   (American family owned) 

* email us to  customize any style length, size, color and clasp - we do not accept any copyrighted jewelry designs

 

 

   ANNE JACQUES crystal COLLECTION