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If the song lyrics are true, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Well, I hate to break it to you, diamonds, but this girl has a new best friend: the sophisticated freshwater pearl. The classic pearl represents purity and beauty, and there are many styles, shapes, and colors available.
You can pop over to the jewelry store and invest in a string of pearls or some delicate earrings, but why not create your own custom piece of jewelry? Designing and producing your own stunning item will provide you with a unique piece. Plus, when an admiring friend notices your lovely pearl necklace, you can have the satisfaction of replying, “Sweetie, don’t you just love it? I made it myself.”
Both natural and cultivated pearls are created when a mollusk, such as a clam or an oyster, experiences irritation inside its shell. When this happens, the mollusk expels something called nacre (calcium carbonate)—forming the pearl that we know and love. It’s hard to believe that something so beautiful is created by an irritated crustacean!
Mother nature needs a hand, now and again, and both freshwater and saltwater pearls are more often cultivated—something is inserted into the mollusk to cause the irritation that produces the nacre—than naturally produced.
There is a distinct difference between the two types of pearl. Saltwater pearls tend to have a bright, glossy sheen, whereas freshwater pearls have a more subtle muted gleam. The most appealing pearl, whether freshwater or saltwater, will have a flawless exterior and be extremely smooth.
The shape can differ, so don’t be surprised to find a round pearl, an oval pearl, or even something with an unconventional shape (those in the know call these baroque pearls).
Freshwater pearls originally hail from Japan, but, nowadays, the majority are cultivated in mussels, residing in the rivers and lakes in China. Saltwater pearls are produced by oysters, which like to lounge in the oceans of Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia, among others.
There’s no doubt that traditional creamy pearls look classically stunning, but black freshwater pearls are a little more avant-garde and are guaranteed to generate admiring glances. Natural black pearls are extremely rare. Chinese folklore tells the tale that natural black pearls were fashioned inside the heads of dragons, and they have long since been associated with wisdom and prosperity.
The trend for cultivating black freshwater pearls means they are now more readily available and more affordable but are still thought to be mysterious and distinctive. Some consider them to bring luck and positive energy, omitting a healing aura. So, if you’re planning a pearl-based jewelry making project, be bold. Choose black freshwater pearls and make sure your hand-crafted piece of jewelry really makes a statement.
If you’ve already discovered the art of jewelry-making, you may already have a bulging jewelry box filled with your custom pieces. If not, then you are missing out, and I suggest you will struggle to find a more therapeutic, creative, and enriching hobby.
Not only is it a pleasurable way to spend your free time, but it is an economical way to produce fantastic gifts for friends and family members, who will appreciate them even more, knowing you have poured your own time and energy into their design and creation.
If you know someone with a birthday in June, a pearl necklace or bracelet would be perfect. Pearl is the birthstone for June.
If you get really good, you can even consider selling your creations to appreciative buyers—move over Cartier, there’s a new vendor in town!
Okay, so we may be getting a bit carried away, but there is a great deal of gratification to be had from making your own jewelry. The simple act of stringing pearls can be relaxing and rewarding. Imagine a long line of smooth, perfect pearls, just waiting for you to transform them into a stunning necklace or unique bracelet.
There are so many colors available that you can have a set for each day of the week. Save the black freshwater pearls for that swanky evening out and wow your friends with your audacity. To get going with your hobby, you just need some threading string or wire and your gorgeous pearls. There are a few other tools of the trade that will come in handy, such as clasps (lobster is preferable because it is more secure) and crimping pliers.
Women love pearls; over the years, they have graced the necks of actresses, singers, and royals. They have a timeless elegance and will, no doubt, continue to stand the test of time. I couldn’t agree more with Coco Chanel: “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.”