Welcome to Bijoux Pearls. The last date for Bijoux Pearls Christmas orders in the UK and Channel Islands is Monday 23rd December 2014.
Bijoux Pearls Guide to Pearls
Have you ever found
yourself drawn to someone who was wearing pearls? You might be captivated by
someone wearing diamonds, but it’s the diamonds that sparkle.When a woman wears pearls, it is she who
shines.Pearls complement a woman in
whatever she is doing.They become part
of her, not something worn by her.With
quiet grace and seductive allure, pearls help a woman convey who she is, or who
she wants to be.
From People and Pearls:
The Magic Endures Aurum Press
Did you know?
Did you know
that pearls are known for "not stealing the show?" Instead they
enhance the natural beauty of the wearer. Diamonds are typically
"attention takers," causing people to focus on the diamond's radiance
rather than on the wearer.
Pearls as a Source of Purity
A pearl is pure
because it is one of nature’s wonders.Pearls have always been seen as natural representatives of life
milestones.Some of the milestones in
which pearls have been tradionally given include birth, baptism, christening,
first communion, bat mitzvah, sweet sixteen, graduation, twenty-first birthday,
engagement, marriage and anniversaries.
What is a Pearl? A pearl is one of
nature’s jewels.A pearl naturally
formed is a quirk of nature. A pearl is naturally formed when an irritant enters
and lodges in the mantle tissue or either a salt water or freshwater oyster or
mollusk.In order to protect itself the
oyster will seal the irritant in a coating of conchiolin which triggers the
production of nacre.
Nacre is a combination
of crystalline and organic substances. Nacre
is the same material found in the inside of oysters and mollusks and is also
known as Mother of Pearl.It is the
nacre which gives luminosity to each pearl.
The oyster will
then produce numerous coatings of nacre around the irritant until the layers
harden to form a pearl.The pearl forming
process can take a number of years. Pearls are now produced using the cultured
production method.This means that an
irritant (a bead for saltwater oysters or a piece of shell for freshwater
mollusks) is deliberately placed to initiate the pearl production process.This modern method of pearl production is
called the cultured pearl method.
Cultured formed pearls versus Natrually
formed pearls the irritant will get into the tissues by chance.And by chance a perfectly round pearl will be
formed.In reality natural pearls and
perfectly round natural pearls formed entirely by chance are extremely rare,
making up around only 5 – 10% of worldwide pearl production.
pearls a small bead or live mantle tissue from another mussel or oyster is inserted
into the mussel or oyster to initiate the pearl forming process.The mussel or oyster than forms the pearl
through a natural process. Through this
method perfectly round pearls can be formed on a larger scale than would occur
Many of the
pearls offered for sale are cultured pearls.Around 90% of the worlds pearl supply is manufactured.Pearls formed in salt water pearls naturally
are highly rare purely because a natural pearl is formed entirely by
chance.A pearl in effect is a one of
act of nature and cultured pearls are the manufacturing process which has
enabled suppliers to meet the demand for pearls.
Freshwater and SaltWater Pearls
pearls come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging in colours from white,
light pink to dark purple.Shapes can range from nearly round to
perfectly round, baroque, and other shapes.Freshwater pearls are grown predominately in China
but some are still grown in Japan.
Freshwater pearls are grown in
freshwater oysters which live in freshwater rivers and lakes.
Freshwater Cultured Pearls, are grown in mussels which are farmed
in freshwater areas. and grown in mussels. The cultivation process for freshwater pearls
usually produces around 20 or more pearls for one mussel. Freshwater pearls are made of solid nacre
meaning that they are very durable.
Where Do Freshwater Pearls Come From?
traditional source of pearls has been saltwater oysters, freshwater mussels,
which live in ponds, lakes and rivers, can also produce pearls.
China has harvested freshwater pearls in the
form of Mabe pearls since the 13th century, and has now become the world leader
in freshwater pearl production. The first record mentioning pearls in China
was from 2206 BC. The United States
was also a major source of natural freshwater pearls, from the discovery of the
through to the 19th century.Natural
pearl production decreased significantly because of over-harvesting and
pollution which reduced the number of pearls in the US significantly.
Saltwater Cultured Pearls are grown in oysters and farmed in
saltwater areas.The cultivation process
for saltwater pearls produces one pearl per oyster.Because of this, salt-water pearls are more
expensive than freshwater pearls.
Tradionally before the advent
of cultured pearl production, saltwater pearls were formed naturally in the
Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the waters of India
and Japan.Natrually formed pearls are still found but
the yield is only 5 to 10% of world production, not enough for the worldwide
demand for pearls.
Saltwater pearls are produced
in South East Asia (Thailand,
Indonesia and the Philippines), The South Pacific (Australia and Tahiti)
for south sea pearls and Tahitian pearls.
The three most common types of
saltwater pearls are Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and SouthSea
The Differences Between Saltwater Pearls
and Freshwater Pearls
thickness of the nacre coating various for pearls.Freshwater pearls are entirely made of nacre
all the way through due to the procedure used to produce them.
pearls have a nacre coating of about 0.5mmm, Tahitian pearls about 2 to 3 mm
and SouthSea pearls from 2 – 6mm.
Freshwater pearls are all pearl
- a south sea pearl would have to reach 18 to 20 mm in diameter to rival the
amount of nacre a freshwater pearls has.Generally for all pearls, the larger the size, the more expensive.
Saltwater pearls are expensive
because not as many are produced, salt water oysters produce one cultured pearl
per oyster, freshwater mollusks produce up to 20 freshwater pearls per shell. Freshwater pearls now rival the shape,
size,look and feel of saltwater pearls
such as SouthSea pearls or Akoya but for a fraction
of the price.
Pearls and Pricing Pearls come in a range
of shapes, styles, colours, quality and pricing. Our take on the pricing of
different types of pearls is that because of the rarity of some types of pearls
(SouthSea, Tahitian) there will be a price
premium placed on these types of pearls. Freshwater pearls are grown in larger
quantities simply because the mollusk can produce more pearls per shell, around
20 as opposed to 1 pearl in a saltwater oyster.Also shape, how long it takes to culture a pearl, surface quality,
colour also each play a part in the price of pearls.
How Long to Grow a Pearl? SouthSea pearls and Tahitian pearls (salt
water pearls) take 2 to 3 years to grow. Japanese Akoya pearls take around 18
months to 2 years.Freshwater pearls
take from 3 to as long as 5 to 6 years to grow.The longer the cultivation time, the larger the size of the pearl.
Freshwater pearls can now grow
up to 16mm in a perfect roundrivaling
the size and shape of the more expensive saltwater pearl (south sea pearl or Tahitian
The cultivation of freshwater
pearls has now reached the same standard of pearls grown in Saltwater areas.
are measured and sold according to millimeters. Freshwater pearls can range in
size from 4mm to 11mm but are now being grown larger.Usually the larger and rounder the pearl the
more expensive the pearls will be.Sizes
7 to 7.5mm are the most common size. Saltwater
pearls (South Sea/Tahitian) can be grown up to 20mm.
come in all shapes from button, rice, oval, almost round, tear dropped shaped, perfect round, potatoe
(ringed), baroque.All pearl shapes and
colours are attractive and choice of
pearl shape and colour depends on the personal preference of the wearer.
Shapes can be
formed by using different sized nuclei for the mussel or oyster to form nacre
around and will generally take on the shape of what ever has been inserted into
the oyster. Round pearls account for 2%
of the annual freshwater pearl yield.
first began to produce cultured freshwater pearls the pearls came out rice
shaped and small.There is now more of
am emphasis on producing rounder shapes particularly near round or perfectly round
shapes.Most pearls produced are oval,
button or drop shaped (60%) with semi baroque and baroque shaped pearls
accounting for the remaining 38% of pearl production.
come in such a variety of colours and shapes, pearl jewellery in all its shapes
and colours and variety is beautiful and suits everyone.
are irregular or potatoe shaped pearls. Baroque pearls are not round or near
round but can be nugget shaped, potatoes happed, slightly oval shaped.We would say that baroque pearls represent
the true natural shape of pearls.Pearls
come in a variety of shapes so it is usual to own more than one piece of pearl
jewelry perhaps a piece made of round pearls and other jewellery featuring
baroque or other types of pearls.
are irregular shaped pearls and come in a range of colours.Potatoe pearls (off round pearls with
sometimes a ring around the centre) are in this category. The baroque
shaped pearl is growing in popularity (currently representing 38% of pearl
production) because there are so many shapes, sizes and colours that can make
Oval pearls are
egg shaped pearls and make beautiful bracelets and necklaces.Oval pearls also come in a wide range of
are round on one side and flat on the other, hence the name.They come in a range of sizes and can be used
to make children’s jewellery. We also stock button pearl rope necklaces.
Mabe pearls are
raised round on one side and flat on the other. Mabe (pronounced mah-bay) are grown in the
inside of the oyster’s shell rather than within the tissue.Mabe pearls make beautiful pendant jewellery.
They come in
colours between black and navy with irredescent sheen. They are quite unusual
but eye catching especially when hung from a silver or white gold chain.
pearls are highly suitable for earrings and pendant drop necklaces.
Rice pearls are
fat rice shaped and come in a number of colours.
Seed pearls are
small (from 2 – 3 mm) and have the appearance of seeds.Usually used to decorate material such as
wedding and bridal dresses.
refers to the type of shell a pearl comes from and where it is grown.
Akoya Pearls.Akoya pearls come from the Akoya oyster. Akoya pearls are nearly always
perfectly round and come in a creamy white colour but can range from light pink
to light gold.Production of Akoya
pearls is mainly found in Japan
with China, Korea, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka also producing Akoya
pearls.Akoya pearls have a milky sheen
luster.Akoya pearls are very suitable
for children’s jewellery and wedding or bridal jewellery as the milky white
composition is very satiny looking.
are irregular shaped pearls and come in a variety of shapes and colours. Blister pearls are formed when the pearl gets
embedded in the inside of the shell of the oyster (the part which is padded by
mother of pearl). The pearl will then form into a blister shape as it has been
formed out of the soft shell of the oyster.
Coin Pearls.Coin pearls are cultured pearls that have been manufactured into a coin shape.They are flat and sit easily on the neck or
wrist.They come in white, pink and off
white colour tones.
Kasumiga Pearls also known as Kasumi Pearls are grown
north of Tokyo. The mussels they are grown in are a cross between Japenese and Chinese freshwater mussels. Kasumiga pearls range from gold to white, to
purple to pink with the pink tones being the most common colour.They are large pearls
measuring 11 – 16mm in diameter.
of pearls that grow naturally in the soft tissue or adductor muscle of cultured
pearl bearing mollusks and come out in a variety of shapes. Keishi forms are
formed as an accident of the cultured freshwater pearl production process.Usually found in the second or third pearl
harvest and caused by natural irritants.For Akoya pearls (which has only one harvest), Keishi pearls are
are highly irregular shaped pearls and come in a multitude of shapes and
colours. Blister pearls are found in contemporary fashion pearl jewellery.
Blister pearls are formed when the pearl gets embedded in the mother of pearl
shell (i.e. in the inside shell of the oyster) and the pearl forms into a
Grown in pearl
beds in Tahiti, Tahitian pearls are usually
dark (silvery black to mid black) and can grow up to 12mm and more.Generally the rounder and larger the pearl,
the more expensive it will be. Tahitian
pearls are grown in Saltwater pearl beds.
Come in very
large sizes from 13 mm to 20mm.SouthSea
pearls are grown between the northern coast of Australia
and the southern coast of China.
The SouthSea extends from South East Asia,
Thailand, Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines
through to Northern Australia and the South
Pacific. The oysters that south sea
pearls come from can grow to 12 inches in diameter hence the very large sizes
of south sea pearls. Because of the
large size of the pearl, a large bead to start the nucleation process can be
inserted into the pearl meaning large pearl sizes.
pearls are grown in saltwater pearl beds in the SouthSea
pacific area. South see pearls
typically come in white, silver and light gold and are quite large.South sea pearls take around 2 years to grow
as opposed to Akoya pearls which take 8 – 10 months and freshwater pearls 7 – 8
Not a real
organic pearl but can be used instead of the South Sea Pearls because of their
size.Sizes usually range from 12mm to
16mm which would cost s fortune for SouthSea pearls of the same
South Sea Shell
pearls are man made manufactured pearls. The shells of oysters and mussels are
ground and then manufactured using a man made pearl making process to make the
south sea shell pearl. South sea shell pearls are perfectly round, come in
sizes up to 20mm and in a range of colours.They are an alternative to the natural south sea pearls which normally
retail at around £60 to £200 per pearl.