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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Akoya Pearls

An akoya pearl is a pearl from the saltwater oyster, akoya-gai or Pinctada martensii Also known as the Japanese Pearl. They are a speciality of the Japanese pearl Farms so of course are a cultivated pearl.

Akoya pearls were first produced by Kokichi Mikimoto to set out to perfect a technique of growing round pearls. He received a patent for this in 1916 but since then the technique has been improved upon so that it is used for fresh water as well as black Tahitian pearls.

They are, however a high quality pearl and contain few blemishes and have a deep beautiful luster.

They are very much in demand as can be set with 18karat gold jewelery and in strings due to the little difference between each pearl.

They look similar to the fresh water pearl but on comparison it is easy to see that the Akoya are larger, more rounder and smoother and lustrous than the freshwater pearls. They are also more expensive.

As a high quality pearl the akoya pearls make an ideal gift and can look really beautiful and lustrous in the right setting.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls are very much in demand and command a good price.

Here are some fact about Tahitian pearls to help you select the ones just right for yiou.

The Tahitian pearl is a black pearl and is created in a special black-lipped oyster found in the French Polynesian waters. It is known as the "Pinctada Margaritifera", or black-lip mother-of-pearl, for short. This mollusk secretes a black pigment and it is this which gives the pearl it’s characteristic black look. Sometimes the pigment is not so black and so you get lighter tinted pearls also.

Tahiti is a group of islands In the eastern South Pacific- 3,852 miles from Los Angeles, 3,541 miles from Sydney, 5,468 miles from Tokyo and 4,660 miles from Santiago, Chile.

Tahitian pearls are cultured in pearl farms in the lagoons of the Tuamotu-Gambier Archipelago, a group of islands in French Polynesia.

How much should you pay for a Tahitian Pearl? You can pay as little as $100 for a small pearl of average quality or up to $10,000 for a round pearl of perfect quality with a diameter of 18mm or so.

Natural pearls are actually quite rare these days and a natural peral might be one out of say 15-20 thousand pearls.

The Tahitian pearl is naturally cultured and not a total product of nature. Strictly speaking, natural pearls are those created without any human intervention, as officially defined by the International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones (CIBJO).

Tahitian pearls are not tinted. They are always all 100 percent natural. The pearl can be jet black, various shades of grey as well as bronze, greenish and even purplish

In the right setting a Tahitian pearl will look wonderful and have a deep shine hard to duplicate artificially.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All About Pearls

A pearl is a calcium carbonate deposit (CaCO3) which a mollusk or shellfish such as an oyster, will create as a reaction to an irritant contained within its shell. The mollusk cannot remove the irritant, it might be a grain of sand or some hard substance, so will coat it with something it feels more comfortable with. The deposit is combined with a substance called conchiolin and this then becomes nacre. This is more known to us as Mother of Pearl.

all about pearls logo This presents itself to us as a pearl and each pearl has it's own luster. This luster depends on a number of factors including the reflection of light on the pearl and the refraction of light from the various layers of nacre.

Pearls are usually white but sometimes have a tint of pink, yellow, green or blue. One can also find black pearls, referred to as the Tahitian Pearl and these are quite rare so more highly prized.

Pearls are highly prized for their beauty and iridescence and some can be extremely valuable. It is quite common for pearls to pass down from one generation to the next and these pearls should be carefully looked after and cared for.

Once pearls, being natural only, were the perogative of the very wealthy. Now, with the advent of the cultured variety, most people can enjoy having pearls.

Monday, June 12, 2006

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Akoya Pearls
Tahitian Pearls
All About Pearls
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June 2006

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