Pearls are unique among gemstones, as they are the only ones found within a living creature and the only ones that require no fashioning (i.e. cutting or polishing) before use.
Natural pearls of any commercial value or desirability are extremely rare and take years to grow. Since the early 20th century, cultured pearls have supplanted natural pearls as the most common and available. Cultured pearls are still real pearls, grown organically inside of oysters in the same fashion that natural pearls are grown. Gratia Pearl uses all freshwater cultured pearls from China.
How do you clean pearls?
1. Do not let the pearls come in contact with acid, soda, or perfume. Do not expose pearls to intense heat.
2. Remember to your pearls after each wearing. Just use a soft,moist cloth to clean your pearls daily, be careful and don't scratch them.
3. Pay attention to what you are using to clean your pearls. Don't just use soap water, regular detergent may have acid or alkali , and therefore they might cause damage on the pearls over time.
4. After washing your pearls with a labeled jewelry solution, wipe your pearls again with a soft cloth. Make sure there is no water residue left.
5. After you washed the pearls, they can be rubbed against a small amount of vegetable oil to improve the lust. The oil mimics body's natural oil.
The basic pearl shapes:
Round: Round pearls are perfectly spherical. They are classic and rare in nature. See an example, Click Here.
Oval: These pearls are shaped narrower at the ends than they are in the center. See an example, Click Here.
Drop: Drop pearls are pear- or teardrop- shaped. The drop can either be "long" or "short" depending on its proportions.
Baroque: This is a pearl that is both non-symmetrical and irregular in shape. The baroque pearls can be purely abstract in its shape, or it can resemble a cross, stick, or some other shape.
Rice: This kind of pearls are given their name because they look like grains of rice. See an example, Click Here.
Coin: Like its name, the shape of a coin pearl is flat like a coin.
Potato: These pearls are not perfectly round. Instead, they are slightly flattened or elongated rather than being a perfect sphere. See an example, Click Here.
Button: Pearls are half-drilled with flat bottoms. See an example, Click Here.
Mother Pearl: Mother of Pearl is the inside of the shell of the oyster or mollusk. Like pearls, it is made of nacre that secrets from the oyster or mollusk. See an example, Click Here.
How to tell real pearls and fake pearls apart?
Real pearls tend not to be perfect and may have bands in their nacre, bumps, ridges, or pits. They vary in size and shape from one to another. Real pearls come in many shapes, but they tend not to be perfectly round, so a perfect sphere should be suspect. Expensive genuine pearls may be round, but you will have other clues to help you make a determination.
High quality hand-made knots are expected to be seen between each pearl on the strand, if they are real pearls. Gratia Pearl’s technicians use extra strong fine silk to tie a knot between each pearl for prevention of accidental loss.
Real pearls have a slight grit to them. Rub a real pearl across your teeth and you should be able to feel the grit. Fake pearls will feel smooth.
Genuine pearls won't be perfectly matched under the sun. You will be able to see variations in their iridescence (orient) and color. If the pearls are perfectly matched for color and overtones, they are most probably fake.
Genuine pearls tend to warm to the skin much faster than glass pearls. Resin or plastic pearls tend to feel somewhat warm upon first contact.
Ultimately, the only way to determine if a pearl is real or not is to take the pearls to a jeweler and have them X-Rayed.