The unique beauty, colour and shapes of the South Sea Pearls are created by the giant Pinctada oysters. The Pinctada Maxima oyster is found off the North West coast of Australia and parts of Indonesia and bears pearls ranging from silver through white to gold in colour. The Pinctada Margaritifera is found in the warm Polynesia waters around Tahiti creating the beautiful black South Sea Pearl.
Pearls and the mystery of pearls have fascinated women and men for centuries because of their timeless elegance and beauty. While cultivating pearls is a relatively new industry, the Australian Aboriginals were known to have cultivated pearls on the North West coast of Australia prior to European settlement.
The early fascination with pearls has continued with fashion icons from Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to today with Cate Blanchett, Elle Macpherson, Sharon Stone, and Hillary Clinton all confirming that the classic jewel is back as the gem of choice.
When assessing a pearl, the five qualities to look for are: lustre, size, shape, colour and skin. It is rare to find a pearl free from any surface blemishes. Essentially no two pearls are identical, but we can group them into categories by colour together with a system of grading and shape descriptions.
We have adapted the following pearl grading system for all our pearls.
|GEM||Spotless and excellent lustre.|
|AAA||Clean Skin – one or two marks.|
|AA||Slight blemish on up to 50% of the surface.|
Pearls come in different sizes and various shapes. We have grouped the shapes in traditional categories:
|Round||Round or near round.|
|Drop||Drop or oval.|
|Button||Semi round or elliptical.|
|Semi Baroque||Slightly irregular.|
|Circle||One or more rings around pearl.|
South Sea Pearls are robust natural gems created by the Pinctada oyster over two to three years of layering layer upon layer of nacre over an introduced irritant. While robust, the nacre is calcium and needs to be given some care:
Because chemicals can dull the pearl lustre, do not allow contact with perfume or hairspray. Wipe your pearls gently with a soft cloth or handkerchief before putting them away. To avoid scratching, keep pearls in a soft cloth to separate them from other abrasive jewellery. Wearing pearls is beneficial to pearls as body oils assist in preserving their lustre.