It is hard to think of a gem more sensuous than a pearl. Pearls have been a constant element of human history for millennia decorating the necks of Roman noblewomen, European royalty, Native American warriors, American flappers and modern-day executives.
When speaking of pearls, we are referring to a nacreous organic gem formed in the body of a mollusk. The formation begins when a foreign object finds its way into mantle tissue of the mollusk. As a defense mechanism, this creature isolates and softens the object by secreting nacre which is composed of aragonite (a form of calcium carbonate) and conchiolin (a bonding agent similar to human hair and fingernails).
Pearls come in a surprisingly wide variety of colors. From whites, blacks, iridescent, pinks, greens and yellows. When they are naturally occurring, these colors depend on the type of mollusk in which the pearl forms. Pearls have traditionally been found in many different parts of the world – Japan, Polynesia, Meso America, China, Central America, and the Persian Gulf to name a few.
With the advent of pearl cultivation during the beginning of the 20th century, pearls can now be farmed in a growing number of locations with amazing results.
There are three major types of saltwater cultured pearls: Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea. Freshwater pearls account for approximately 95% of total global pearl production but are much less valuable than saltwater pearls. Saltwater pearls are made by oysters, whereas freshwater pearls are usually made by mussels.
At Condesa, we offer many pearl services, such as restringing, remounting and replacing missing pearls. Please contact us today.