Pearl: History, Meaning, and Colors

Pearl is a precious stone developed within the soft tissues of a clam. It’s composed of calcium carbonate deposited in concentric layers. The most expensive pearls are those that are perfectly round and smooth. Pearls are the only gemstone created by a living organism.

As the birthstone for June, pearls symbolize modesty, purity and chastity. In certain parts of Asia, single women are discouraged from wearing pearls. According to superstition, pearls resemble drops of tears. Women who wear pearls before marriage will end up in an unhappy union. As such, pearls are traditionally given to married women. This gemstone is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to perfect the skin.

Pearls are considered as the most feminine of all precious gemstones. That’s why pearls of all colors are the perfect gift for women. This gemstone comes in different types and colors.

Types of Pearls

Freshwater Pearls

As the name suggests, freshwater pearls are harvested in freshwater. The gemstones are grown from freshwater mussels. The nacre of the freshwater pearls is much thicker than saltwater pearls. As such, freshwater pearls aren’t as lustrous or glossy as saltwater pearls. But improvements on farming methods resulted in improved luster.

Saltwater Pearls

Saltwater pearls are developed in the oceans by oysters. They are more valuable than freshwater pearls because of their luster, quality, and rarity. Saltwater pearls are also larger, heavier and rounder, particularly the cultured type.

Natural Pearls

Natural pearls are often rare and expensive. But as far as quality goes, it’s hard to tell the difference between a high-quality cultured pearl and a natural pearl.

Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are grown in farms and have uniform round shapes. Most of the pearls sold today are cultured, not naturally formed. A small, round object is inserted artificially into the oyster. Little by little, the oyster will start layering the nacre to make a perfectly round pearl.

Pearl Colors and Their Meaning

Pearls are made into earrings, pendants, necklaces and rings. Traditionally, brides wear pearls. As such, pearl jewelry is usually given as a wedding present.

Cultured pearls come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. For instance, the Japanese Akoya pearls are usually white, small and luminous. South Sea Pearls are large, smooth and expensive. Tahitian pearls are black as night and equally stunning. But did you know pearl colors hold different meaning too?

White: The most popular of all pearl colors, white represents simplicity, modesty and purity. It’s traditionally used as bridal jewelry.

Gold or Champagne: Champagne pearls vary from light yellow to deep gold color. Gold represents wealth, success, courage and wisdom. Gold pearls are perfect for older women.

Pink: This pearl color represents romance, passion, faith and love. It’s the perfect pearl for younger women and debutantes.

Brown: This pearl symbolizes masculinity, dependability, stability and harmony. This is also an excellent choice for older women who love a lot of drama.

Blue: Blue pearls symbolize tranquility, confidence, intuition and courage.

Silver: This pearl color symbolizes focus, dignity, self-control and wisdom. If you’re looking for the best pearl color for mom, choose silver.

Black Pearl: This color signifies mystery, allure, independence, and strength. Black pearls usually have a subtle multicolor shift, depending on the lighting. Black pearls make the perfect gift for the most important woman in your life.



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