Gem School
Pearl

Mineral: Calcium carbonate
Colour: Various colours
Moh's Hardness: 2.5-3
Birthstone: June
Anniversary: 3rd & 30th

The only gem produced by a living organism, the pearl is a true organic marvel. Much loved as a symbol of status and luxury for thousands of years, pearls continue to be adored throughout the world. Their delicate nature requires the wearer to be conscious of how they wear their pearls but with the right attention, they can last for generations.

History

The pearl's value is determined by its lustre, surface quality, shape, colour, nacre thickness and size. A pearl's imperfections, because they are natural, do not necessarily detract from it's beauty or value.

The history of pearls goes back to their first recorded mention by a Chinese scholar in 2206 BC. The first discovery of a pearl was most likely by people looking for food, who upon opening a mollusc, found a pearl. Natural pearls are very rare and most pearls today are cultured and farmed which has made them accessible in a way not seen before this technology was developed.

Care

Pearls need to be kept in a soft and dry environment as they are porous and vulnerable to acids and abrasive materials. Clean them by wiping with a soft clean cloth. Avoid water and any chemical contact and always apply perfume and hairspray before wearing your pearls. If strung on pearling thread, be sure to have your pearls rethreaded if the piece starts to show signs of wear and tear.

Pearl Pieces