>> Saturday, December 21, 2013
The finest quality pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and the word pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, and admirable.
The Vedic tradition describes the sacred Nine Pearls which were first documented in the Garuda Purana, one of the books of the Hindu holy text Atharvaveda. Ayurveda contains references to pearl powder as a stimulant of digestion and to treat mental ailments.
The value of pearls in jewelry is determined by a combination of the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry that are appropriate for the type of pearl under consideration. Among those attributes, luster is the most important differentiator of pearl quality according to jewelers. All factors being equal, however, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. Large, perfectly round pearls are rare and highly valued. Teardrop-shaped pearls are often used in pendants.Pearls come in eight basic shapes: round, semi-round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque, and circled.
**Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable shape.
**Semi-rounds are also used in necklaces or in pieces where the shape of the pearl can be disguised to look like it is a perfectly round pearl.
**Button pearls are like a slightly flattened round pearl and can also make a necklace, but are more often used in single pendants or earrings where the back half of the pearl is covered, making it look like a larger, round pearl.
**Drop and pear shaped pearls are sometimes referred to as teardrop pearls and are most often seen in earrings, pendants, or as a center pearl in a necklace.
**Baroque pearls have a different appeal to them than more standard shapes because they are often highly irregular and make unique and interesting shapes. They are also commonly seen in necklaces.
**Circled pearls are characterized by concentric ridges, or rings, around the body of the pearl.
There is also a unique way of naming pearl necklaces. While most other necklaces are simply referred to by their physical measurement, strings of pearls have their own set of names that characterize the pearls based on where they hang when worn around the neck. A collar will sit directly against the throat and not hang down the neck at all; they are often made up of multiple strands of pearls. Pearl chokers nestle just at the base of the neck. The size called a princess comes down to or just below the collarbone. A matinee of pearls falls just around the chest. An opera will be long enough to reach the breastbone or sternum of the wearer, and longer still, a pearl rope is any length that falls down farther than an opera.