Perhaps the best way to spruce up and highlight an outfit is to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. The right set of jewelry, shoes and handbag can add top notch pizzazz to any outfit. One popular, pretty way to accessorize to perfection is with pearls.
A pearl is a hard object produced within a soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk or another animal, such as a conulariid. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers.
The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes, known as baroque pearls, can occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries.
Pearl Fun Fact: Pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable. Think a “pearl” of a car, a “pearl” of a find, etc. The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but are extremely rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls. Cultured or formed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of the pearls currently sold.
Pearl Fashion Tip: Imitation pearls are widely sold as inexpensive jewelry, but the quality of their iridescence is usually poor and easily distinguishable from that of genuine pearls. However, costume jewelry is fun, chic and easy on the pocket book. Whatever suits your tastes!
Pearl Fun Fact: The English word for ‘pearl’ comes from the Fench ‘perle’, originally from the Latin ‘perna’ meaning leg, after the ham-or mutten leg-shaped bivalve. All shelled mollusks can, by natural processes, produce some kind of “pearl” when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped within its mantle folds, but the majority of these “pearls” are not valued as gemstones. Natural (or wild) pearls, formed without human intervention, are rare.
The unique luster of pearls depends upon the reflection, refraction and diffraction of light from the translucent layers. The more thin and more numerous the layers in the pearl, the finer the luster.
Get as much shine as your pearls will muster…wear pearl jewelry with luscious luster!
Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from different sources. Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels (Unionidae family) which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters (Pteriidae family), which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in lagoons or volcanic atolls.
Natural Pearl Fun Fact: Natural pearls are nearly 100% calcium carbonate and conchiolin. Natural pearls form under a set of accidental conditions when a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, irritated by the intruder, forms a pearl sac of external mantle tissue cells and secretes the calcium carbonate and conchiolin over the irritant. This secretion process is repeated many times, thus producing the pearl.
Wow, who knew natural pearls start out as irritants? Interesting! The finished product is beautiful and magnificent!
Pearls make for clothing and jewelry to be adored by all. Whether you work in an office, step out on the town or are still a school girl…dress up your outfit with the always gorgeous, always glamorous, always stunning pearl!
Cultured Pearl Fun Fact: Cultured pearls are the response of the shell to a tissue implant. A tiny piece of mantle tissue (called a graft) from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell, causing a pearl sac to form into which the tissue precipitates calcium carbonate.
Cultured pearls can be distinguished from natural pearls by X-ray examination. A cultured pearl shows a solid center with no concentric growth rings, whereas a natural pearl shows a series of concentric growth rings.
Wear pearl rings and set your fingers a glow…let your hands put on a splendid jewelry show!
Imitation Pearls Fun Fact: Some imitation pearls (shell pearls) are made of mother-of-pearl, coral or conch shell, while others are made from glass and are coated with a solution containing fish scales called “essence d’Orient”. Although imitation pearls look the part, they don’t have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls, and their luster will dim greatly.
One reason pearl jewelry is so glamorous and gorgeous is because fine quality natural pearls are very rare jewels. Their values are determined similarly to those of precious gems, according to shape, size, color, quality of surface, orient and luster. Single natural pearls are often sold as collectors’ items, or set as centerpieces in unique jewelry. Present day natural pearling is confined to seas off Bahrain. Australia has one of the world’s last remaining fleets of pearl diving ships.
Ship your fabulous self off to the nearest jewelry store and buy yourself some fantastic, fashionable pearls to adore! You, fashion diva, never wore it so well!
Be the queen bee you were born to be when you wear a crown of pearls, gems and diamonds. Sheer beauty!
Pearl Jewelry Fun Fact: The value of pearls in jewelry is determined by a combination of the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry that are appropriate for the type of pearl under consideration. Among these attributes, according to jewelers, luster is the most important differentiator of pearl quality. All factors equal, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. Large, perfectly round pearls are rare and highly valued. Teardrop shaped pearls are often used in pendants.
Whether you prefer to wear pearl earrings, rings, necklaces, chokers, bracelets, anklets, purses or hats, when you’re decked out in elegant, exquisite pearls you’ll look like a fashion plate! Imagine that!
Pearls: Accessorize to pleasing perfection!
“I need something to doll up these jeans and crop top that I have on.”
“I have the perfect answer for you. Pearls, pearl, pearls…you can’t go wrong.”
“I’ll put on a layered pearl necklace, a large pearl bracelet and a black pearl ring.”
“Now you look sensational my dear…you’ve come to life with your pearl bling!”
“I think I’ll put my hair in a bun and dress it up with a pearl headband.”
“You sure are a sight for sore eyes. Your casual to chic outfit deserves a hand!”
Pearls: From frumpy, to casual, to grand!
Nancy’s next book in her award winning murder mystery series, Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel, available now in online and retail bookstores.
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying, Murder Can Be Messy and Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy