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Pearls – Greatest Gifts of the Sea

Pearls may well represent one of the first fashion’s essentials to have appeared in the history of mankind. Indeed, men and women of prehistoric times would have discovered the pearls when harvesting oysters, clams and mussels from the sea to feed themselves and their families.

One can only imagine the magical and mystical appeal these exquisite jewels may have had upon the first women to discover them. Their mythical aspect has made pearls legendary throughout the centuries. It was believed for a long time that pearls were tears coming from angels who fell from heaven and these glowing adornment items were collected from the ocean and cherished by mortals. The Egyptians appreciated pearls as in their culture they symbolized richness and they were buried with the owners. For the Greeks, they were related to love and marriage and the Roman conquerors looted many nations to satisfy their insatiable desire for pearls.

During the Middle Ages, the brave knights went into battle wearing their beloved wives’ pearls, believing they protect warriors against injury. During the Renaissance, the laws allowed only the nobility to wear them. They were so valuable that in 1916, the French jeweler Jacques Cartier traded two pearl necklaces against his flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

These natural glowing jewels come mainly from oysters and sometimes from clams and mussels. They develop because of a substance called nacre which is secreted by mollusks to make their shells. A natural pearl is formed when an object falls into the oyster, which defends itself by covering the irritant with layers of nacre. As time passes, the irritant becomes a pearl.

Natural pearls have become increasingly rare in the 1800s due to the depletion of oyster populations. Pearls were then only available for those who could pay their excessively high price. In the early 1900s, methods to grow pearls by artificially introducing an irritant into an oyster to stimulate the formation of a pearl were discovered. Culture pearls are as beautiful and pure as natural pearls. The only difference is that the oyster was encouraged to produce it. The beauty and luster of the pearls still continues to delight us today. In fact, pearls are an essential element in any woman’s jewelry collection. A classic pearl bracelet like the one from this store, matches any outfit and any occasion. Worn in combination with an evening dress, pearls are impeccable. They add a touch of chic and style if worn with a pair of funky jeans. Pearls have always been an expression of elegance, richness and purity.

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