There are two major categories of pearls
Cultured Pearls - formed by man inserting a nucleus into the mollusk and thereby starting the pearl formation the nucleus is inserted surgically into the pearl sac and the mollusk then secretes nacre over this this to form the pearl nacre is the pearlescent substance that makes pearls glow.
Both Natural and Cultured Pearls can come either Salt Water or Fresh Water. It is very difficult to tell whether a pearl is a saltwater or freshwater pearl. Generally salt water pearls have a way superior lustre compared to fresh water pearls.
Manmade pearls - made in factory from all manner of stuff- often called shelly pearls, seashell pearls, Swarovski make fabulous pearls from their crystal.
The modern techniques of Perliculture are largely attributed to Kokichi Mikimoto,, it is thanks to his efforts that culture pearls are as desirable and affordable as a commodity.
The colour in a pearl is created from the mantel of the mollusk- the often dark frilly bit that sticks out of an oyster.
South Sea Pearls - white to golden- often with winter white tone- Pinctada Maxima- this can be up to 30cm big.
Tahitian Pearls - Black to pale grey- blue, green, brown overtones- Pinctada Margaritifera
Akoya - light pink to white to yellowish- Pinctada Fuceta
Biwa - freshwater pearls from Lake Biwa in Japan- now polluted-reducedproduction.
Oriental Pearls - natural pearls from the Persian Gulf region- Wing shell pearl oyster- very rare - overfishing and pollution
Freshwater pearls are grown in many different molluscs - species called- Hyriopsis- unrelated to the pearl oysters
Freshwater pearls - are frequently dyed- most effective method is irradiation- gamma rays bombard the nucleus.
Shape is determined by the nucleus that is inserted into the mollusk and can be anything from round to square ,rectangular, disk, heart.
Pearls are judged by their luster
The rounder the pearl- higher the lustre -least imperfections- bigger the size-higher the price
If your buying strand of pearls- the more evenly matched they are the higher the price
Price increases by each millimeter that a pearl gets bigger- for the same quality each mm it increases the price doubles
No- hairspray- perfume- makeup
My dressup procedure- shower dry body lotion perfume- hair make-up very last pearls
Damp Cloth- wipe-dry soft towel -store in soft bag- not the safe!!