The allure of the pearl is timeless and universal. Since the beginning of recorded history, the pearl has been extolled as a metaphor for life itself, for virtue and love, wisdom and spirituality.
The word "pearl" is similar in many languages. In English (pearl), French and German (perle), Dutch and Swedish (paarl), Italian and Spanish (perla). This universally understood word came from Roman´s "pirula" which means "tear-shaped" as it was used to describe the shape of many freshwater pearls.
History of pearls
The illustrious history of the pearl is unparalleled. Today´s birthstone for June, the pearl has a history more ancient and more fascinating and regal than any other gemstone. Unlike diamonds and colour gems, pearl´s beauty is there for all to behold from the very first moment. It needs no enhancement, cutting or polishing. And it is not difficult to believe that the pearl was truly the first gem - a beautiful, rare and highly prized substance known to man.
Power of pearls
In addition to the pearl´s value as a gem of incomparable beauty, for centuries people believed that pearls contain special curative abilities, especially for the eyes, melancholy and depression. Pearls are still believed to possess the power to enable one to see into the future and help to better interpret dreams.
Today´s pearl market is a cultured pearl market and if it were not for cultured pearls, most people have never even seen a beautiful pearl except in portraits of the rich and famous housed in museum collections. For those seeking pearls today, it is only fine cultured pearls.
Cultured freshwater pearls occur in a wide range of colours, shapes and personalities which gives them a special allure and make them first choice for the pearl designer jewellery, especially because they can be worn singly or grouped in alternating colours, hanging either straight or twisted for a distinctive effect and unique visual presentation. Colours include light, medium and dark orange, lavender, purple, lilac, blue, rose or grey and in additional to such versatility of colour options, the lower cost of most freshwater pearls makes it possible to create an almost endless variety of looks.
It is very important to note, that you may find differences in the colour and shape of pearls and should also allow certain variance of designs from the pictured Orchira's jewellery to the actual item, as all Orchira pearls are a product of nature.
Seed pearls are normally baby fresh water cultured pearls of 1-2mm. Normally come in white colours, they are pearls that have been seeded and grown around 6 months to 1 year.
They ae highly precious due to the meticulous level of work to select and drill them, with high possibility of drilling failure, they come in a high cost. The work of stringing them is another pains taking job which make seed pearl designed jewellery very precious and special
The nature of their sheer small size makes them very versatile to be strung and woven into various shapes and structures, all require high level of detailed elaborated work. They become a favourite element of specialised pearl jewellery designers.
Keishi pearls are grown from the empty pouch inside the host oyster after the first batch of pearls have been taken. There is no core (nuclea) in the oyster and the continuously secreted nacre forms an irregular shaped nugget, with extremely intense lustre, this is called Keishi pearls, meaning re-born pearls. The intense lustre with natural peach, pink, purple or cream colours and irregular shape make them an ideal piece of gemstone to be used in designer jewellery.
Biwa pearls were originally cultivated in Biwa lake in Japan, famed for its special look of wrinkled high lustre surface and long stick shape, it is a favourite element to jewellery designers alike.
Baroque pearls refer to the irregular slightly flat shaped cultured pearls. It can be cultured Tahitian pearls, South sea pearls or fresh water cultured pearls. Some baroque pearls are irregular with a general oval shape. They are referred to as "potato" pearls which is very popular with designer jewellery, sometimes even more popular than normal round pearls!