A Pearl's Journey

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Pearls are the only natural jewels created by a living animal. An authentic pearl begins its life inside of an oyster on the ocean floor. An irritant, such as a piece of shell or parasite, lodges itself inside of the oyster and its body then takes defensive action to protect itself. The oyster secretes a smooth, hard substance around the irritant called "nacre". Over time, the irritant becomes encased by the silky coatings of nacre which result in a lustrous pearl. Harvesting the pearl does not kill the oyster and they are still capable of producing more pearls.

Photo by hokuosangyo beadslounge

Cultured pearls have more irritants placed purposely inside them by pearl farmers but they carry the same properties as natural pearls. Although most pearls are made from oysters, mussels and mollusks can produce pearls as well. Virtually al pearls today are cultured. Natural pearls have been compromised by phenomena like water pollution and tsunamis.

Classic pearls are timeless and are something everyone should have in their arsenal. Pearls are making a wave in fashion right now for spring and summer trends. Layers upon layers of pearls were seen on the runway, along with pearl chokers and pearls mixed with chunky metals giving them an edgy look.

Photo by hokuosangyo beadslounge

"Pearl Parties" are also gaining popularity and are unique and fun for all ages. At a pearl party each member will have their own oyster. Each oyster holds a genuine pearl and the guests can take their unique pearl and choose which time of jewelry to turn it into. A host will throw the event in their home or stream it live on Facebook or YouTube. Larger pearl parties will feature raffles and games along with making jewelry.

Have you ever worked with pearls? Have you ever attended a pearl party? What did you think?

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