Learning Center

Pearls

Pearls are popular jewelry stones. Learn about their properties and varieties, as well as practical tips for repairing and working with them.

16 ARTICLES
Article
Metalsmith ’86 Spring: Book Reviews

This article showcases book reviews for “The Art of the Jeweler”, “Bead Setting Diamonds, with Pavé Applications”, “Custom Knifemaking: 10 Proiects From a Master Craftsman” and “Pearls:…

Article
Fabricated Reversible Pearl Pendant

Design ideas often begin one way, then evolve into something different. Such was the case with Robin Waynee’s two-sided palladium pendant with pink sapphires, diamonds, and a rolling Tahitian pearl. Waynee, of Santa Fe, New Mexico,…

Article
Crafting a Custom Pearl Necklace

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” I often recall those words from “Mission Impossible” as I approach a design project. The pearl necklace “mission” shown here presented some interesting and subtle challenges.…

Article
Pearls of the Ocean

Pearls don’t need polishing or faceting to reveal their natural beauty. That’s why pearls were among the first gems worn by humans. The oldest known pearl necklaces graced the necks of women more than 4,000 years ago.

Article
Detecting Golden Pearl Color Enhancement

When the first warnings about color enhancement of golden South Sea pearls came out five years ago, fear struck the South Sea pearl industry. Some of the new enhancement methods for golden pearls were nearly undetectable, leaving dealers…

Article
Working with Pearls

Both natural and cultured pearls are formed when an irritant lodges in a mollusk. The mollusk then deposits layers of nacre, covering the irritant and producing a pearl. In a natural pearl, the irritant may be organic or inorganic matter. In…

Article
Tips for Repairing Pearl Jewelry

When taking in a piece of pearl jewelry for repair, it may be necessary to remove the pearl to avoid damaging it. Since most pearls are held in place with glue, you can remove them by gently warming the jewelry piece. You want the part near the pearl…

Article
A Look at Pearl Quality

When buying cultured pearls, consumers must consider several quality characteristics that are very different from the four C’s of diamonds or gemstones. Nacre quality is very important. The nacre is the layers of protective coating – a pearly…

Article
Pearl Treatments Explained

Since the beginning of time, man has sought to improve upon nature. Pearls are no exception. The majority of today’s cultured pearls have undergone some form of processing or treatment after their removal from the mollusk. The only way to confidently…

Article
The Different Kinds of Cultured Pearls

Pearls are organic gem materials form in a variety of mollusks when the mollusk covers an irritant with layers of nacre. Oysters, mussels, conch, and abalone can produce pearls. Oysters and mussels can do this job by themselves when an irritant…

Article
Chinese Freshwater Pearls

When Chinese freshwater pearls began flooding the market several years ago, craft artists took notice. It is not that pearls were new to them. Studio jewelers had been incorporating pearls into their designs for decades, long before the current…

Article
The Use of Pearls in Cosmetics

Ginseng, green tea, and herb and oil extracts are just a few of the main ingredients in millions of cosmetics on the market today. And now pearls have entered the picture in a bigger way, hoping to take the cosmetics industry by storm. But the use…

Article
The Fascinating World of Black Pearls

Thirty years after Robert Wan began culturing his first Tahiti black pearls in the seas of French Polynesia, he is still fascinated by the darkly shimmering treasures. When discussing his successful journey to become one of the most influential…

Article
950 Palladium and Tahitian Pearl Earrings

These 950 Palladium earrings were designed by Tom McLaughlin of Lennons Jewelers, Syracuse, NY. The top portion of the design is bead set with small round brilliant diamonds on one side. When worn, the bottom portion swivels and is bead set…

Article
3 Designers on a Pearl Challenge

Aesthetic interpretations are as unique as fingerprints. Give three people the same trendy sweater and each will wear it in a different way. Give three jewelry designers the same unusual cultured pearl and each will design a distinctly different…

Article
The Effects of Global Warming on Pearl Oysters

Warming waters, changes in weather patterns, and increases in storm activity may all affect the future success of pearl farms, both freshwater and ocean-based. Precisely what impact they will have is a little harder to determine: Relatively…