FAQ | Freshwater Pearl Knowledge
Q. How do I know if my Pearls are real?
A. Real Pearls will have a certain weight to them that will become apparent when picked up, they should seem heavier than they look. Another way is to rub them on your teeth if they feel smooth & slick they are not real, when doing the tooth test real Pearls should feel ever-so-slightly gritty and rough. And finally if you still not convinced rub the Pearls between your fingers real Pearls will feel like a somewhat soapy texture.
Q. Does the Pearl & Stone sell real Pearls?
A. Yes we do! All of our pearls are 100% Natural Freshwater Cultured Pearls, meaning that they are farmed and grown inside the triangle shell mussel (Hyriopsis cumingii), A 2-7 year process! We do however have costume Pearls and are not Natural Freshwater Pearls we refer to them as FAUX Pearls.
Q. How are Freshwater Cultured Pearls Produced?
A. At freshwater pearl farms, each mussel is surgically implanted with 24 to 32 tiny pieces of mantle tissue, a process known as nucleation. Once the tissue has been inserted, a sac forms and cells begin secreting nacre (pronounced NAY-ker), forming a calcium-carbonate compound - a pearl. Over the course of 2 to 7 years, the mussels deposit layer upon layer of nacre around the growing gems, generally producing more than two dozen pearls clustered on the inside of each shell.
Q. Why are the Pearls so affordable if they are real? (Aren't Pearls expensive?)
A. Pearls used to be very expensive and reserved for the rich and famous because of the rarity of them, usually it would have taken searching 1000 oysters to find a single pearl! Nowadays the industry norm is to use the freshwater mussel variety called the triangle shell mussel (Hyriopsis cumingii). These are farmed and one mussel can produce 20-30 Pearls in a period of 2-3years. Drastically reducing the price and making Pearls very affordable and desirable again to the general public. 90% of Pearl's found today in jewelry are of the Freshwater variety.
Q.What is a freshwater pearl as opposed to a saltwater pearl and why do we choose to use mostly freshwater pearls?
A. The reason we prefer the freshwater pearls are their durability and affordability. Because they are almost 100% nacre (Pearl) they are much more resilient than the saltwater pearls resisting chipping, wear, and degeneration. They also at this time are more aggressively priced thus we can bring them to you with a more affordable offering.
Q. Aren't real Pearls supposed to be round? Why are there so many different shapes?
A. There are many Pearl shapes, round, oval, ridged, button, drop, coin & baroque. But many other shapes have been found in the mussel itself like stick formations, cross formations, Pearls that look like rice and potatoes with ridges. These are all 100% Pearls. Perfectly round pearls are very rare.
Q. Why are there so many different Pearl colors?
A. Freshwater pearls produce the widest array of colors and shapes. There are dozens of naturally occurring colors found in freshwater pearls. Nacre is what gives pearls their natural color, generally pink, white, silver, gray, yellow, brown or gold. This "body" color is often complemented by a rainbow iridescence called "orient." However Freshwater Pearls are often color treated to improve upon or alter their natural colors giving rise to an array of color hues demanded by markets looking for Pearls that have unique colors. Color treated Pearls now come with some very trendy colors from Fuchsias, Lavenders, bright pinks, Teals & Blues. These are still 100% Pearls now with wonderful colors to choose from!