All of the pearl jewellery for sale at AC Silver includes free and insured global shipping.
As we would suggest with any item of jewellery, make sure your pearls are regularly checked and cleaned. If you wish to clean your pearls at home simply wipe them over gently with a very soft cloth. We’d recommend you do this briefly after each use.
Never be tempted to clean your pearls using an ultrasonic- this treatment would be far too abrasive. If you’re ever in any doubt about how to clean and care for your pearls be sure to contact us or take them to your jeweler to be professionally cleaned.
The pearl is a natural gemstone which has been coveted by humans for centuries. Although the most common depiction of the pearl is a white or creamy colour, there are in fact a variety of pearls ranging in colour from grey, black, silver, blue, pink, and many more. There are even variants of pearls which are iridescent; appearing simultaneously as multiple colours.
Trained experts can identify a genuine pearl from a fake through a microscope with ease. Natural and cultured pearls have grainy surfaces which can be identified with magnification, while imitation pearls have smooth and eggshell-like surfaces.
It is possible for a layperson to test this at home using the ‘tooth test’; by rubbing the pearl gently against one’s tooth, the aforementioned ‘graininess’ of the genuine article can be felt. Real pearls are a very delicate gemstone and very much beloved – for good reason. Whether naturally-occurring or ‘man made’, pearls are unique among gemstones, with a lustre and shine that cannot be compared to any other stone.
The most common question regarding pearls is the difference between cultured pearls and natural pearls.
Although it may seem complex, the differences between natural pearls and cultured pearls are simpler than one might expect. Natural pearls are produced entirely in the wild without any human intervention. Small pieces of dirt and debris enter the mollusc, and over time the inner coating of the mollusc coats the debris and transforms the dirt into a pearl.
Due to destructive elements like climate change, the natural habitats of the molluscs which produce pearls are significantly diminished, and so naturally-occurring pearls are very rare. Most items of jewellery with natural pearls are antique and vintage, since the natural gemstone is much more difficult to obtain today. Due to their rarity, natural pearls tend to cost significantly more than their cultured counterpart.
Cultured pearls are made in much the same way as natural pearls, however the sediment required to craft the pearl is placed there by a human pearl farmer. Pearl farms produce the majority of pearls used in jewellery today, featured in pearl necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pearl rings, etc. Cultured pearls require human intervention, and are created from molluscs that are raised specifically for the purpose of pearl production. This involves inserting a shell bead along with a small piece of tissue to eventually create a coating around it – resulting in the formation of a pearl. There are four different kinds of cultured pearls.
Akoya cultured pearls are the most common saltwater pearl. Typically, akoya pearls are the classic white or cream pearl used in jewellery, however, they can also come in silvery blues and sometimes golden hues. They are usually perfectly round in shape, as is the case with most cultured pearls, but other forms are also available. These are usually produced in Japan or China.
South Sea pearls come from the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, and are another saltwater pearl. These pearls can be golden, silver or white depending on the type of host mollusc. They are much larger than the akoya pearls and are the largest and most expensive of all the cultured pearls. They are often named the ‘Queen of Pearls’ and are the most sought-after pearls.
Tahitian pearls come from the islands around French Polynesia. The most appealing element of Tahitian pearls is their famous black colour, although they do also come in variants of greys, blues, and even browns, while many are also iridescent to some degree, showing signs of pinks and purples.
Freshwater cultured pearls are the most commonly created cultured pearls. This is because of their range of shapes and sizes and colours. They are also cheaper, meaning they are more readily available and practical for wide use in jewellery. The larger size of the molluscs used to create these pearls also means they are capable of creating multiple pearls at once, making it very cost effective. These pearls are farmed in freshwater ponds and lakes and usually come from China.