For centuries, pearls have been the symbol of beauty and purity. Today, we view them as both classic and contemporary. Designers are creating more and more fashionable style compared to the traditional strand of pearls found in old collection.

How do pearls form?

Pearls are either natural or cultured. Natural pearls are composed of almost 100% calcium carbonate and conchiolin. We believe that they form under accidental conditions when a parasite enters a mollusk and stays inside the shell. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk releases calcium carbonate and conchiolin to trap the parasite in a sac. After this process is repeated many times, a natural pearl is formed.  

Cultured pearls follow the same process as natural pearls. However, the parasite is a surgically implanted bead or piece of shell called Mother of Pearls. Quality pearls require enough time going up to 3 years to be produced.

Most pearls sold today consist of cultured pearls. Pearls containing a perfect shape are rarely found as natural pearls. It is possible to distinguish natural from cultured pearls through X-Ray examination.

A little history

Pearls have been worn long before written history. Their discovery cannot be credited to a single person, but we believe that they were discovered by people searching for food along the seashore.

We know that pearls were worn as Jewelry for thousands of years after finding a   fragment of a Pearl on a Persian Princess dating back to 420 B.C. This fragment is now displayed at the Louvre in Paris.

Its place in fashion

After the iconic French fashion designer Coco Chanel stated, “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls”, they became a must-have essential in every woman’s wardrobe. Year after year, season after season, that statement holds true. Pearls have been and are still used to compliment shoes, bags, clothing, and jewelry.

Luxury fashion brands have worked hard to target Millennials and became leaders in positioning pearls in all their products. They use different sizes, unconventional shapes such as baroque, and succeeded in moving them to accessories from jackets to denim to footwear and handbags. They made wearing pearls become cool and contemporary.

The meaning behind Pearls

Pearls are the ultimate symbol of purity, integrity, and loyalty. They are valued for having a calming effect while giving a sense of safety. They are often offered as a token of love, affection, and good luck. There are multiple myths, true or not, that symbolize just how important pearls were to ancient civilizations.

  • During ancient times, the Japanese believed that tears of mythical creatures such as mermaids or angels created pearls
  • One Persian myth explains that pearls were created after a storm, when a rainbow appeared from the sky and touched the earth.
  • Egyptians would burry loved one with their pearls because of their value.
  • An ancient Chinese legend declared that pearls would form inside of the head of a dragon. It was only possible to gather pearls after slaying the dragon to death.

At 22 Jewelry, we use baroque pearls to complement our collections and do collaborations with other designer such as Stefania Vaidani to come up with cool new ways to wear pearls. From beaded belts, to beaded anklets, to beaded necklaces, and beaded bracelets, we have a large collection of beaded jewelry accessorized with baroque pearls.