What Are Pearls?

From a technical point of view, a pearl is a calcareous body composed of concentric layers of nacre around a nucleus and organically produced by a living mollusc. To be considered a pearl, it must be a porcellanous object inside an oyster, which is composed solely of inorganic calcium carbonate. Essentially this means that pearls are a similar material to human teeth and must be cared for accordingly.

“Seedless or cultured? Australian or Tahitian?”

Linneys create jewellery using only the worlds’ finest seedless and cultured pearls salt water pearls. The wide variety of pearls that Linneys use suit almost every personal style, taste and budget. Firstly, there are Australian South Sea Pearls. These pearls are white in colour and are highly sought after. From the islands of Tahiti and French Polynesia come the most unusual and flamboyant pearls in the world, the Tahitian Black Pearls. They are not really black, rather they exhibit an amazing palette of colours, from soft grey through to iridescent green to aubergine.

Other types of pearl that Linneys doesn’t work with are Japanese Akoya Pearls or Chinese Freshwater Pearls that are cultivated in various species of mussel shells. Most of these pearls are smaller and lower quality.

“What colour suits me?”

Colour selection is up to your individual judgement as it depends on your skin tone and personal preference. White pearls will have an undertone colour such as pink or silver. Tahitian pearls are referred to as black pearls however they come in the largest spectrum of colours from peacock green to silver and purple.

“What is lustre?”

Lustre is the most important factor to consider when buying a pearl as it determines the price but ultimately the overall look of the pearl after all it’s the lustre of a pearl that makes it considered a gem.  The first thing you notice is the lustre and this is not simply a shiny, reflective surface but rather an inner glow. This inner glow results from rays of light travelling through the layers of nacre being reflected from within the pearl.

“What is the best shape”?

 According to value, the best shape is a perfect round pearl. According to individuals, it is whatever you prefer! The most popular and expensive shape of a pearl is a perfect round. A near-round or slightly button shaped pearl is far less expensive than a perfect round one. Oval and drop shaped pearls are the most suitable for making pendant whereas button shaped pearls are perfect for rings and stud earrings. There are also the baroque and keshi pearls that provide amazing organic shapes that are completely unique. So overall when it comes to pearl shape, primarily it should suit the piece of jewellery that is designed to house the pearl and also suit your personal preference.

“How big are pearls?”

As the size of a pearl increases, so does the value. This is because of the rarity of the larger size pearls. Linneys cultured pearls start at 8-9mm and some or the largest pearls can be over 20mm.

View Linneys pearl jewellery collection.