Schwanke-Kasten Discusses Pearls

For much of human history pearls could be found among those fortunate to discover a mollusk that produced layers of nacre around some type of irritant inside of its shell.  Because it was such a rare find, natural pearls were extremely valuable and expensive.  While today’s market includes cultured pearls, pearls remain one of humanity’s most cherished gems.

Cultured pearls occur when one deliberately inserts a bead or a piece of tissue into a mollusk and the mollusk coats it nacre.  Kokichi Mikimoto was the first to culture a pearl and he did so in Japan around 1893.

Pearls can range in color, both naturally and cultured, but the most popular choices continue to be cream or white.  A good pearl should be free of marks and it should feel smooth.  The shape could be oval, round, pear-shaped, or misshapen (also known as baroque pearls).  The quality of the nacre often dictates the quality of the luster, or shine, of the pearl.

Imitation pearls can be found on the market so it’s best to have one of our Schwanke-Kasten professionals help you locate superior, beautiful pearls.  Also be sure to view our current selection of pearl jewelry on our Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers website.