Below you can read about what mother of pearls really is. All about pearl forms, what qualities they exist in, and why they cost what they do.
Last but not least - some advice you can pass on to your customers about how to take care of their pearls.
But above all else - don't forget to use them.
Mother of pearl is deposited in many thin layers on top of each other. Each layer is so thin that it takes 1,000 layers to make a layer of 0.5 millimetres on a pearl. Dependent on the temperature of the water and the species of clam and psysical appearance, 2-7 layers can be deposited each day. When the layers hardens the pearl is being formed and this process can go on for years.
When light is reflected through these layers a rainbow like reflection will appear on the pearl. Chemically, mother of pearl is primarily made of lime, the Scleroprotein and water. Mother of pearl on the inside of the shell - practically a smooth lining of the inside of the shell - can contain a higher concentration of water and konkylin than the mother of pearl deposited on pearls.
From Round to Baroque
Round pearls are perfect in their shape but to grow a perfectly round cultured pearl is very rare among salt water culture pearls. Almost round pearls have been pressed a little and therefore not perfectly shaped. Oval pearls are most often completely symmetrical and broad in the middle while thinner at both ends. Button formed pearls are almost formed as an ellipse and while flat, they have beautifully rounded shapes. Button shaped pearls are also seen as symmetrical. The drop-shaped pearls, which are likewise considered symmetrical, will often be used for earrings and charms. Semi-Baroque pearls lack symmetry or else they would have been categorised as either oval- button- or drop-shaped. Baroque Pearls can with their asymmetrical and irregular appearance seem completely abstract.
Pearl traders use two different systems to classify and valuate pearls. The AAA-A and the A-D system. Like most other systems these have their limitations while they solely focus on the shape and the shine of the pearl and not each pearls unique and individual qualities. The unique and individual qualities are what can put the Baroque peals in high demand.
The rule of thumb while looking at pearls and checking for quality is always shine: Rather a smaller pearl with great shine than a big pearl with less shine. In addition you consider the pearls surface, colour, shape and size. Pearls should always be considered and priced in day-light while artificial light, evening- and candle light make the pearls seem more valuable than they might be.
Pearls are about personality. If a pearl speaks to your emotions – buy it. If it doesn’t – don't. Shine, colour, shape, size and weight determines the quality of a pearl and thereby its value. By the end of the day it is the costumers perception of the pearl and its amenity which decides whether the price of the pearl is fair.
Torben Skov Pearls is a wholesale company which supplies pearls for jewelers, jewellery designers and larger jewellery companies. That means that as a private shopper you will not be able to buy from Torben Skov Pearls – but we will happily refer you to one of our many dealers.
Take Care of Your Pearls
Pearls are weather you’re talking about the South Sea or the Tahiti pearls living jewellery. The pearls’ worst enemies are soap, deodorant, hair-spray and perfume. That’s why you should always remember – first put on make up, do your hair and put on perfume – then put on you beautiful pearls. When pearls aren’t being used they should be kept in a soft bag. If they lie around other jewellery you’ll risk scratching them.
If pearls lie hidden in a jewellery chest for years they will dry out. That means that the surface of the pearl will loose its shine, color and smoothness. The best way to maintain the quality of a pearl is to wear it on the skin as often as possible.
The weakest link in a pearl collier is most often the silk string that keeps it together. That is why a pearl collier should be checked at the jewellers and – if necessary – have the silk string replaced.