Real pearl - knowledge base, jewelry
Properties of real pearl, physiological effects, zodiac signs and real pearl jewelry.
Pearl mussels are a product of mussels belonging to different families. The beads are solidified secretions found in the animal and made up of the material of the shell.
The beads are made up of an organic material that forms a concentric layer, between which and lime salts are deposited. The pearl is made up of the same layers as the shell itself, but most of the time the top layer of skin that covers the shell from the outside is not developed, only the columnar and plate or pearl layers are well developed.
The flawless, impeccable pearl has no color of its own, only a play of color. Its color and luster depend on the way the lime is deposited and the transparency of its raw material, from the former it receives its glittering color, from the latter its slight luster. Beads whose column layers are almost completely colorless and thus transmit light have greater light and color splendor.
In the pearls of river mussels, the column layers are not colorless, so such pearls are not so beautiful.
Pearls are by no means as hard as gemstones and not as resistant. The light of the pearl is not constant, it disappears over time, especially when exposed to frequent temperature changes or in contact with body sweat when worn. The smallest beads are sand grain sized, the largest known bead is 35 mm long and 27 mm wide and pear-shaped.
One of the most magnificent oriental pearls is in the collection of the Zosima brothers in Moscow. It is perfectly rounded, not drilled, has a beautiful silver glow and is 27 and 7/8 carats heavy. Since about 90% of the pearls consist of carbonated lime, the acids dissolve during effervescence and can be dissolved by cooking in strong vinegar.
Real pearls have been used as jewels since ancient times. Egypt and Mesopotamia sourced pearls from three pear-producing regions, the Persian Gulf, India and the Red Sea coast. It appeared much later in Europe, where Theophrastus first mentions it. He avoided the Greeks to the Romans. In Rome, especially in the time of Pompeii, they shone a great deal of light with pearls and paid incredible sums for larger pearls. But the pearl was also known to the natives of America.
It is still fished off the coast of Venezuela. These western pearls, while quite large, are still much less valuable than the oriental ones because they have a lead gray hue. Most large pearls are from Persian and American production sites. Europeans, especially Bavarian (freshwater) pearls, rarely reach pea size, most often only pinhead-sized or even smaller.
Tahiti - black pearl
In the islands of Tahiti, the pearls grown in the pearl shells of Pinctada Margaritifera are so called. These black (sometimes greenish) shells are a particularly popular variety because of their quality, pearl thickness, and beautiful, unique colors. The colors of the beads can be anthracite, gray, greenish black and yellow, of course paired with a variety of shades and beautiful acting. The size of the beads is usually between 8 and 19 mm. The beads are of course so beautiful and of good quality that no artificial repairs are needed. That is why they are also called the Queen of Beads.
Japanese, Chinese, and Korean saltwater cultured pearls are called Akoya pearls. The sizes of the beads are usually between 2-9 mm. They usually make a string of pearls from medium to large sizes. Its original colors are yellow, green and cream. They usually go through a color treatment before they are sold or used, where they are bleached and colored because their original colors are not really beautiful.
South Sea pearls
Commonly called Australian, Cookian, Philippine, and Indonesian beads. A shell called Pinctada Maxima is used. They can reach 8-22 mm in size and can be white, golden yellow, silver gray, pink and gold, or even dark gray. They are qualitatively better than Akoya beads. These beads are usually the most expensive on the market.
Freshwater pearls did not grow in the sea but in inland waters. Biwa beads are grown in Japan’s largest inland sea (Biwa Sea). Because of their shape, colors, and size, these freshwater pearls are very popular. They range in size from 2 mm to 8 mm. Specimens above 10 mm are also rare. 'Hyriopsis schlegeli' is the best known freshwater mussel. The exterior is standard brown, but the inside is smooth and white. The largest specimens reach 30x20 cm.
Freshwater pearls grow much faster than saltwater ones, so commodities are also lower in general. They can be white, pink, cream, champagne, orange purple or brown. In addition to the round shape, they can be oval, egg, button, drop and potato shape. Of course, almost perfectly round freshwater pearls are the most sought after and also have a higher value than other shapes.
Evaluation of beads
The value of pearls can reach even the most precious gemstones, people have been wearing them as jewelry for 6,000 years. They do not need to be machined, as they are shiny in their natural state, have a brilliant surface and a special play. They are evaluated on the basis of their shape, size, color, purity and light reflectance (luster). Spherical ones are called the most valuable, hemispherical ones are called button-shaped ones, and irregular ones are called baroque beads.
True beads can take the following forms:
- perfectly round beads,
- beads other than spherical, not more than 5%,
- drop-shaped beads,
- button-shaped beads,
- oval beads,
- irregular or baroque beads,
- round patterned beads.
The size of a real pearl
Sizing is always based on the diameter of the bead, never its length. The price of a pearl increases with size. They range in size from a few millimeters to more than 20 mm.
The color of the real pearl
Unlike the artificially colored Akoya pearls, the color of the South Sea and Tahiti pearls is natural. For colors, the base hue, intensity, and saturation are monitored. For Akoya beads, the palette ranges from white to cream to pale pink, however, the coloring is affected by the color treatment of the raw beads. The main colors of South Sea pearls are white, silver, pink and gold. Usually Tahitian pearls are darker: their shades range from light gray to gold to greenish black, black.
Surface and chandelier of real pearls
The color reproduction of a good quality real pearl results from the refraction of light between the tiny crystals in the pearl layers. This makes the pearl a translucent and rainbow-shining sphere. The light phenomenon seen from inside the material should not be confused with the chandelier. This is because the chandelier refers to the reflection of the surface of the bead. In the pearl of the perfect chandelier, one can also see one’s own reflection. Classification according to gloss and surface purity can no longer be described by simple physical characteristics such as size and shape.
According to the international standard, the beads can be divided into four groups based on luster and purity:
- Excellent shine, flawless surface. This is the perfect pearl, with very small flaws at most.
- Good glow, with small flaws that can be minor dots or blemishes.
- Low gloss, medium quality. Stained surface with minor defects.
- Poor quality, almost no brilliance, a lot of visible defects, the surface is not beautiful.
Proper care of real pearls
Real pearls are the treasures of nature, their value can be preserved with proper care.
Because the beads are organic matter formations, their surface is very soft and sensitive. They are easily scratched when in contact with metals and stones (including precious stones). Therefore, it is better to keep real pearl jewelry separate from other jewelry, if possible one by one, in a bag made of some soft material, but it can also be wrapped in a scarf. Do not keep it in a leather bag, as the tannic acid in the skin is harmful to the glow.
Protect real pearls from excessive sunlight and avoid wearing them when sunbathing. Sweat and sunscreen damage their surface as much as any chemical. The proximity of the sun or any major heat (such as a radiator) dries out the outer pearl layers, as this material contains all the moisture.
If possible, take off the pearl jewelry when showering, bathing, in the sea and in the pool as well. There is also pollution in seawater, and the water in the pool contains a range of chemicals, including chlorine.
You should also pay attention to cosmetics. Don’t spray perfume on the real beads. It is recommended to put on the jewelry made of real pearls after make-up and combing, but preferably not on creamy skin. Cosmetics that contain fat, acids, or bleach are especially harmful to real pearls, as are creams, soaps, shampoos, hair dyes, and cleansers. Therefore, always wipe off the remnants of cosmetics and sweat with a soft, dry cloth.
Do not use a brush, eyeglass cloth, or other chemically treated material. The cloth should be neither wet nor damp, because if moisture reaches the silk bag, the fibers of the material will become stiffer under certain conditions, which can damage the bead bead.
If you wear the beads frequently, take them to a jeweler at least once a year and string them again. If we wear it less often, we can even wait for years. In any case, it is better to prevent the inconvenience of a possibly torn string of pearls caused by beads scattered on the ground. Every two or three years, we carefully wipe the real pearls with olive oil to preserve their shine and shine.
If we follow the instructions above, we can enjoy the beauty of our jewelry for a long time.
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Usually all the shells that produce the (real) pearl. The most famous are the real pearl mussels belonging to the family Aviculidae, scientifically known as Avicula (Meleagrina) margaritifera L. and the freshwater pearl mussels belonging to the family Unionidae, scientifically known as Margaritana (Unio) margaritifer L. it occurs in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Ceylon, in the Red Sea, but also in the Australian Seas and even the Gulf of Mexico. The shells of the old specimens have a diameter of approx. the size of a soup plate. The inside of the shell is coated with a very thick layer of pearls. The thick shell is what makes pearl fishing fruitful, because it is used to make pearl buttons and other utensils, and it produces pearls that are so rare that they often open hundreds and hundreds of shells without finding pearls in them. The question of the formation of beads is as old as we have known about their existence. There are many beautiful old legends, myths and myths that deal with this issue. To the best of our knowledge today, the pearl is a solidified secretion of the mussel body made of the material of the mussel shell, which can develop in two ways. One of the previously thought-common reasons for the development of pearls is that foreign bodies, most commonly parasitic worms or worm larvae, penetrate the body of the mussel. Around these, as around a core, the materials of the shell are deposited in layers to form a bead.
However, most pearls are formed differently. In particular, we know from the latest studies by Rubbel and Hein that the pearls of the freshwater mussel are formed around such an invading parasite. There are always small yellow lime grains that form the core of the pearl, which originally served as a reserve material to build the shell, around which the pearl sheets were deposited in layers. The developing small beads are initially freely embedded in the connective tissue. If lime columns are further deposited on them, forming new layers, the pearl is surrounded by a separate small bag, the wall of which consists of glandular epithelial cells. These separate the materials from the layers that build up on the bead to increase it.
There are beads on which all the layers of the shell can be found, but the leather-like layer covering the outside of the shell is not normally developed, in which case the bead consists only of the columnar lime layers and the mother-of-pearl layers. Close-up pearls, as they grow layer by layer, can merge to form complex pearls that are surrounded by common layers of pearls.
The beads that develop inside the soft parts of the body are quite round and regular, but when placed close to the mantle, the shell reaches a certain size, adhering to the shell, the pearl layer of which coats the shell and the bead with common layers. The pearl mussels are brought up from the bottom of the sea in places where they occur en masse.
The beads that develop inside the soft parts of the body are quite round and regular, but when placed close to the mantle, the shell reaches a certain size, adhering to the shell, the pearl layer of which coats the shell and the bead with common layers. The pearl mussels are brought up from the bottom of the sea in places where they occur en masse. Carrying a stone with him, the fisherman falls heavily, naked, to the bottom of the sea and detaches as many shells from the bench as he can with his knife at once. It is rare for a fisherman to be able to stay underwater for more than a minute. The shell of the red seashell is very thick, so it pays well.
The origin of real pearls
One of our popular jewelry is the pearl. Along with the most precious jewelry and gems, it comes from the ancient east.
The people of India and China, as well as the Persians, have known about its existence since ancient times and value it more than gold or precious stones. The oldest pearl known to mankind adorned the jewelry of a Persian princess who lived around 520 BC and is now preserved in the Louvre.
We have no exact information about the fact that the peoples of antiquity sought the secret of the formation of pearls, but we are left with some lovely tales that tell us about the birth of pearls. According to the Hindus, once a year, on the 16th day of the snow in Nisan, when dawn begins to dawn on a pale rosary, hundreds of thousands of mussels rise to the surface of the sea to open their shells to catch a drop of dew.
Moments later, a plethora of shells closes his trough at once and then disappears back into the deep in the same way. The brilliant dewdrops they capture are transformed into soft-glowing beads. What can science show against this charming tale?
What is a real pearl made of?
The composition of the beads corresponds to the composition of the shell of the shell-forming shells. After evaluating the results of many laboratory tests, the following mean values were obtained: carbonated lime - 91.72%, organic matter - 5.94%, water - 2.23%, loss - 0.11%. Freshwater pearls also contain traces of manganese in most cases.
The layers of the beads correspond to the layers of the shell, and contain the conquin, the column, and the pearl layer. On true beads, 0.0005-0.002 mm is the thickness of the small scales of the pearl layer. Neumann P. and Schmidt W. J. estimate the thickness of the conch layer at 0.00009-0.00013 mm, which serves as an adhesive between the pearl scales in a very thin layer.
The real pearl gets its gentle shine thanks to its layered-scaly structure. The interference phenomenon in the beads is a slight play. Man has been admiring the gentle beauty of real pearls for thousands of years, created by the combination of the light and color of the pearls with transparency. In particular, the color of the beads is determined by whether the beads contain concin in their layers closest to the surface. The color of the beads that are free of concin in their upper layers is light gray or bluish gray.
These pearls, which boast a milky white to slightly yellowish tinge, are also referred to by pearl dealers as "mature pearls," as opposed to pearls that have grayish or brownish spots on their surface, which is a sign that they have been deposited close to the surface at these points. The more extensive these zinc spots are on the surface of the bead and the closer they are to the surface of the beads, the darker the color of the beads.
According to their thickness, the thin layers of conquin give a yellowish color, the thicker ones a brownish and even black color, and thin conquin plates cause so-called oily spots that play into the greenish. The bead is colored blue by the thicker or near-surface columnar layer. However, we do not know what causes the so-called rosy color of some beads.
To some extent, all pearls that play in beautiful colors are transparent in their top layers. The deeper the light penetrates into the inside of the bead, the more magically the interference of the surface layers and the stronger the color gamut of the bead.
The beauty of the pearl includes the transparency limited to the outermost layers of the pearl. These are first quality beads, or as they are commercially referred to as first water beads. Beads whose color play is not valid due to opacity are so-called "immature beads."
Beads from different production sites differ more or less from each other in color and play. Thus, more experienced pearl dealers can, after careful inspection, determine the origin of the pearl in most cases. The color play of pearls prevails differently in natural and artificial light, even in stronger and weaker sunlight. The beads on a blue background are particularly beautiful in their play. In terms of their occurrence, black pearls occur more in the South Sea, light green pearls in the East Indies, and shiny green pearls off the coast of Japan. Mytilus edulis sometimes produces light blue beads, a species of Spondilus greens and faintly rosy, and Arca noe produces violets.
In terms of their properties, the beads are sensitive to acids, but do not dissolve completely in them, as the organic part remains. The organic skeleton is dissolved by alkalis. As a result, the bead vase tears up. The specific gravity of the beads ranges from 2.65 to 2.9, not much less than the specific gravity of aragonite (2.937). It has a density of 2.6 to 2.9 g / cm³. Their hardness, on the other hand, is higher than that of aragonite and calcite, 3.5 and 4.5, respectively. The elasticity of the beads is medium, on average less than that of imitations. If a true bead is dropped from a height of 70 cm onto a sheet of glass, it will bounce back to a height of 35 to 40 cm after the collision. The fakes are higher. In terms of their structure, they are made up of extremely small scales, fine layers that impart greater hardness to the beads, and this also explains the relatively high cohesion of the beads. The growth of beads is a very slow process. According to Riedel, the pearl layer in the river mussel grows by 0.048 to 0.052 mm per year. Japanese-grown pearls grow an average of 0.089 mm per year. A thirteen-year-old shell may contain, on average, beads up to 2.57 mm in diameter.
According to a foreign expert, beads are nothing more than spherical shells. However, this statement cannot be considered completely accurate, as impeccable spherical ones are common among the beads, but more or less distorted ones are more common. These include flat, drop, pear, or other strange or bizarre beads.
How is a real pearl formed?
The beads are made by species of freshwater and seashells as well as snails. Shells or snails contain pearls that form a mother-of-pearl. Because the pearl is formed due to abnormal external influences.
Of all the molluscs, the sea pearl (Meleagrina margaritifera) is of paramount importance. In addition to Meleagrina margaritifera, and some of its variants, some seashells belonging to the genera Pinna, Ostrea and Mytilus also provide beads. Of the river pearl mussels, the Unio margaritana and the East Asian Anodonts, which are native to European, Central Asian and North American rivers, produce pearls in particular. Very nice beads are sometimes found in some sea snails, such as Strombus gigas and earwigs (Haliotis).
The tight body of the shells, which is tightly closed and composed of two halves, surrounds the soft body of the mussels. The body of the shell is separated from the shell by a soft leather plate on the back and completely surrounded by it. The closely spaced epithelial cells covering the side of the mantle towards the shell secrete the material of the shell, which also forms the true beads.
Pearl shells do not necessarily contain pearls in all cases, as pearls can be observed in a very small number of pearls, appearing in exactly one percent of them.
The shell is made up of three layers of different thicknesses in different shells. The outermost layer is made of organic matter, konquin, which gives it a dark brown or dark green tinge. Going inwards, the thickest layer of the shell, the columnar layer, follows. The column layer, which gives the shell strength, stands perpendicular to the surface of the shell and fits snugly next to each other in hexagonal columns. Their material is carbonated lime.
The innermost layer of the shell is the pearlescent layer, which is also made of carbonated lime and is made up of scales that are extremely thin (0.005-0.0022 mm) and are horizontal to the hexagons of the column layer. These tiny scales, also made of carbonated lime, overlap in a way reminiscent of tile shingles. Under high magnification, the microscope clearly shows that the pearl layer shows irregularly winding drawings.
Due to the interference of these extremely thin, partially overlapping small plates, a characteristically gentle play of the pearl layer is created, while the so-called pearlescent light is created only by the fine layered structure. The tiny scales of the pearl layer are held together by binder as a binder, just like the hexagons of the column layer. The thickness of the pearl layer of each different mussel species showed different degrees based on the observations. In some places, this layer has not developed, and in others, as in the case of seashells, this layer has reached considerable proportions.
Pearlescent shellfish are loved and fished for their mother-of-pearl. The shell protects the animal from attacks by its natural enemies and prevents the fine sludge from entering the bottom. The animal selects a hard shell material for the mantle, which can repair the damage to the epithelial cells that make up the shell to a lesser extent. The smaller particles of foreign matter (sand grains, parasites) entering the mantle and the shell stimulate the material of the epithelial cells, which limits the animal's ability to carry out its most important life processes. Therefore, the animal envelops the foreign matter, forming a mother-of-pearl envelope around it. However, if this shell adheres to the shell, it will form a hemispherical protrusion thereon. This is a pearl.
True beads are formed only if the envelope surrounding the foreign element separates from its shell on all sides and can thus form a natural sphere within the animal's body. At this point, the epithelial cells surrounding the enclosed outer body sink into the fleshier layers of the mantle and wrap around the surface of the mantle. They form a closed bladder around it, also known as a pearl bag. These epithelial cells flowing into the fleshier layers of the mantle do not cease their secretory function here either and continue to secrete a shell material around the foreign body. Selection and, as a result, growth shapes the shape of the body into a spherical shape, as it is free in all directions.
Real pearls as the oldest jewelry
Real pearls are the most beautiful and oldest type of jewelry that man has adorned since ancient times. The basis of these jewels is real pearls produced in the freshwaters of the Far East. Assembling the jewelry requires great care, attention and meticulous craftsmanship. Single-row, double-row, and three-row forms of necklaces are produced more often. Earrings are usually found in drop or spherical shape, dangling and non- dangling, in a variety of colors. Bracelets are usually made in single, double, and multi- row shapes using round and lens-shaped beads.
These jewelry can be worn by queens, actresses, brides, or even grandmothers just as they are not ostentatious and look good on everyone. These jewelry can be worn on weekdays or even for any special occasion.
Plenty of writing contains a well-known historical anecdote about the pearl of Queen Cleopatra and its history. According to the description, at the feast in honor of the Queen Antonius, he threw the pearl of great value into vinegar, and before it could be prevented, he drank the dissolved pearl. However, this could not happen because in a dilute vinegar that can be drunk without danger, the bead dissolves only very slowly.
The growth of the beads is also very slow. However, the columnar as well as the conch layers need to grow faster. If the epithelial cells that secrete the pearl all function equally and nothing inhibits the growth of the pearl from either direction, the pearl formed during development will be spherical. However, those with impeccable spherical shapes are not very common among the beads, most of them are more or less distorted: flat, drop, pear or other, strange, bizarre shape. Strangely shaped, heavily distorted beads are called "baroque beads." If the pearl is released from the flesh of the mantle during growth and adheres to the shell, an "overgrown pearl" is formed. However, the half- or three-quarter-spherical, possibly shapeless outgrowths formed on the shell are called "pseudo-beads." Each pearl has a core. The seed is usually a grain of sand, but sometimes parasitic or its egg. The core is not always exactly in the middle of the bead.
Occurrence of the seashell
The mussel species live in the warmer seas on the shallower shores, bays. Only where the bottom is not very muddy and there are plenty of rocks to settle in the area. Their range is from the equator to 35 ° north and 23 ° south. Within the belt between these boundaries, we find sporadic species of mussels on the shores of every continent and island. They are found in only a few places in the larger colonies suitable for fishing, more precisely in some parts of Asia, Australia and Central America. No major pearl shells can be found off the coast of Africa. The western part of the Persian Gulf, and especially the region of Bahrain, is one of the oldest known regions in the world and still plays a leading role in pearl production. The shells extend about 70 miles south of these areas. At a depth of about 6-13 meters on the seabed, there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of mussels that live here, clinging to the bottom coral limestone. Adult shells can reach up to twice the palm size and four centimeters thick.
The internal surface of some mussel species is iridescent and can be white, gray, yellow or black. They are used in various processing, carved, turned, painted, gilded and used to make smaller ornaments or to decorate larger ones by inlay. Already in ancient times e.g. Nero had a pearly room.
The Byzantines used it in very large quantities, but with the least appropriate decoration, and painted it on it, but in this process all the advantages of the material are lost. During the Italian Renaissance, it was deposited in wood and, less commonly, but very effectively in metal. A XVII. s. at the end of the XVIII. It becomes very popular in the 16th century. The XVIII. s. in the second half the most beautiful pearl works are made, in which the engraved ornament is filled with black paste.
Artificial pearls are also made of bone, stones (alabaster, coral, amber, etc.) and metals. Most commonly, glass beads are used, which are made of white or colored, easily melting glass.
Some pearl imitation types
It consists of elongated pieces of glass tube. Glass tubes of different shapes are cut into shorter and longer pieces with a knife similar to a chopper. The edges of the cracked pearl are sharp. The edges of the long bead are fused one by one in front of the blow lamp. Venetian pearl (embroidery pearl). The fractured bead is cut into short, tubular pieces, mixed with charcoal clay powder, and this mixture is heated in rolls similar to a coffee roasting roller until the edges of the tubing pieces melt. Carbon dust prevents the beads from merging. After cooling, the beads are sieved and shaken in a bag first with sand and later with bran to get light.
It is blown out of glass tubes one by one before the blow lamp, without a pattern if they are made of only spherical beads, or with the help of small metal samples if a different shape is to be made. The blown pearl is thin-walled and very light. Pressed pearls: this is pressed from glass rods. The end of the glass rod is heated and the soft glass is clipped with a pair of pliers engraved into the shape of the bead to be pressed. The pliers have a steel needle that also punches through the beads when pressed. The surface of the pressed pearl is not shiny and traces of the mold seam are also visible on it. Excess glass bulging at the mold seam is broken and then the beads are ground one by one, less fine goods are obtained and heated to such an extent that the surface of the glass melts (bead polished in a fire).
The real pearl imitation, the blown glass pearl
Filled with a metallic luster, called pearl essence, separated from the whitefish scales and mixed with gelatin. Embroidery beads are mostly made in Venice, on the island of Murano, most of the other pearls are sold in Gablonz (Czech Republic), where the pearl is the home-made industry of making artificial gemstones and glass buttons (Quincaillerie).