Good news is that pearls have become affordable and the quality has improved. There was a time when natural pearls cost a fortune and were domain of rich and famous people but not any more. More and more people are buying pearls because of its natural lustrous appeal. But natural pearls are rare and all pearls sold in the domestic and international markets are all cultured pearls and are known by various names such as freshwater pearls, akoya pearls or akoya seawater pearls, Tahitian pearls, South sea pearls.
What are cultured pearls then? A Japanese man named Kokichi Mikimoto back in early 20th Century developed the culturing technique. He had mastered the culturing technology in growing the pearls naturally in seawaters but with little human help. This technique of growing cultured pearls is often known as the bead-nucleating technology. Ever since there has been great demand for these cultured pearls which are worn everyday by all women around the world.
A very small mantle tissue beads are implanted inside the mollusks or oysters to form beautiful pearls. Pearls are formed inside the body of oysters. The mollusk deposits layer of nacre, a combination of crystalline and organic substances, when any irritant or parasite enters or placed inside its body. Over a period of time with nacre building up in layers upon layers, the pearl is formed.
Difference in cultured and natural pearls can not be made with naked eyes; however, distinction becomes very prominent when seen through x-rays. Cultured pearls are used in pearl jewelry as well as in cosmetics.
Pearls are evaluated by the quality, size, shape and type of pearls. Luster is the hallmark for any pearl. Although white color is synonymous with pearls but they do come in various other natural shades link cream, rose overtones, pink, gray, peacock black, golden and lavender etc.
Women have always been enchanted by the beautiful and the gorgeous appeal of fine pearl jewelry. Each piece of fine pearl jewelry stands for its own beauty and style. Pearl jewelry is considered to be the best and perfect gifts for loved ones among other jewelry. Pearls natural shine is very appealing and adding the complete pearl set to any wardrobe is an excellent choice by many.