Types and Varieties of Pearls

In fact, there are two main categories of natural pearls, the so-called Oriental Pearls, and Freshwater Pearls.

What are Oriental Pearls?

The term “Oriental Pearls” is due to the country of origin of Pearls, such as Sri Lanka or India, whence this gem came to the European market. Also, this term includes Pearls obtained from the countries which region is the Red Sea.

Freshwater Pearls or Sweet-Water Pearls

Freshwater Pearls or Sweet-Water Pearls is Pearls obtained from mollusks (better known now as “mussel”) living in inland waters.

Baroque Pearls

This term applies to the specimens of Pearls of irregular form. Among them, there are Wing Pearls, Hinge Pearls, Nail Pearls, Rose Pearls, and Strawberry Pearls. Each type obtained its name thanks to the similarity with the corresponded objects.

Blister Pearls

This type of Pearls is due to the appearance of nacre outside the shell. As a result, the mother-of-pearl covers the external objects. Thus we get a blister, whence the term. This type of nacre used in jewelry to create some small details.

Abalone Pearl

This type possesses the irregular shape similar to Baroque and Blister. But sometimes, it could be of regular and even spheric shape. Despite the fact that some specimens are similar to natural Pearls, they are pretty brittle and may damage during the piercing.

The name derived from “Haliotis,” a shellfish. But the locals of the English Channel Islands call it “Abalone” because of its unusual form. This type of Pearls is valuable thanks to the unique color of its nacre made by nature. This kind of Pearl is usually of peacock-green or brownish-red color.

Conch Pearl

The word “Conch” derived from “Lobatus gigas,” known as a “queen conch.” The shell principally used for decorative purposes instead of jewelry. Most of the specimens of this kind of Pearls arrived from the Bahamas, whence its second name Nassau Pearls. The surface of Conch Pearls is similar to porcelain. This type of Pearls is transparent as well. It possesses silky luster and presents a broad range of colors, which changes kaleidoscopically as a result of rotating of the specimens. It usually has an ovoid shape.

Clam Pearl

This kind of Pearls usually obtained from the oyster or clam. The Oyster Pearl is generally of light-gray color. The Clam Pearl presents mostly blue or red color. But the shapes of both kinds are frequently different. The Oyster Pearl is, as a rule, of spheric shape. Clam Pearl principally of ovoid shape.

A bit of sacred

As a conclusion, it’s worth noting that Pink Conch found first in Ceylon was a symbol of Travancore, the kingdom located in the territory of modern India in the period of 1729 — 1949. For the locals, this symbol was sacred. They believed that Vishnu wore Pink Conch in his hand. Moreover, the first incarnation of Vishnu had its aim to destroy its giant shank shell to retrieve Vedas, as they supposed that they are stolen and kept in the depths of the ocean.

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