Sunday, May 31, 2009

Freshwater Pearls

by Bonnie of The FamiLee Jewels

Enjoy the sophisticated simplicity of 
Snow Drops by Aeris Designs.
Freshwater pearls are considered to be the world's oldest gem. Their translucent luster is created by multiple layers of nacre formed inside a living organism.  

Throughout history, pearls have been treasured and highly valued. In China, Egypt, India and Persia ancient texts refer to pearls as prized possessions. In ancient Rome, they were worn as a symbol of wealth and prestige.  In ancient Greece, pearls were worn at weddings as symbols of purity and love.

Native Americans also used pearls for trade and ornamentation. Legends tell of a Native American princess who gifted Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto with furs, copper and freshwater pearls.

By the end of the 19th century North American and Caribbean pearl supplies were greatly diminished due to over fishing and the uncontrolled pollution associated with industrialization.

See how Two Chicks Too combines rustic with 
elegance in their Pearl Tangled necklace
Traditionally, salt water pearls are grown in oysters and fresh water pearls in mussels.  In modern times, pearls are grafted into triangle shell mussels by pearl farmers. Ironically, these mass produced pearl products rival the quality of the most expensive natural pearls ever found.

No longer reserved for royal families and wealthy consumers, freshwater pearls are an affordable fashion accessory for everyone. Pearl is the birthstone for June.

Pearls are said to be calming and centering. They represent purity, and promote faith, charity, integrity, truth and loyalty. They help one to connect with the Goddess; the ultimate feminine energy.

Look at The Family Jewels use of pearls 
in their Nesting Instinct pendant.
Pearls need to be treated with care. They will stay cleaner if you put them on after you have applied your makeup and perfume. Wipe them with a soft cloth when you take them off. If they become soiled, you may clean them with mild soap and water. Air dry before putting them away. Never clean pearls in ammonia based cleansers or put them in an ultrasonic cleaner. Store pearls carefully so that they are not scratched by other metal or gemstone jewelry.

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists Jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at


Leilani said...

Fantastic article! Pearls are classic and a must have for every jewelry box! It's great that they are so affordable for all to enjoy these days.

Michele said...

Great article Bonnie. I think pearls are one of the most versatile gems. They are perfect by themselves or mixed with other materials.

Barb Macy said...

I love my pearls! I wear them more than my own jewelry, especially during the winter.

Bonnie said...

leilani and Michele thanks. Pearls are fabulous aren't they. Barb they are some of my favorites too, so pretty and they go with everything. You could make an enhancer to wear with your pearls and have the best of both! :>)