Pearl Engagement Rings
Pearls are timeless, classic stones that have been appreciated for centuries. These stones are produced in pearl sacs inside living mollusks, particularly in mussels and oysters. Pearls are formed by several layers of calcium carbonate building upon itself. Ideally, pearls are perfectly smooth and round; however, many other shapes can form, which are called baroque pearls. There are also different types of pearls: freshwater and seawater, meaning pearls can be cultivated all over the world, including in Australia, the Red Sea, China, Japan, and Africa.
Regardless of water type, the most valuable pearls occur naturally and spontaneously in the wild; but, these are exceptionally rare. Pearls can be cultivated in farms, these are called cultured pearls and make up the majority of pearls sold. To increase the number of round pearls on the market, the process of culturing was introduced in the late 1800s. In this process, a piece of oyster epithelial membrane along with the shell nucleus or other substance is inserted into the the oyster’s body, causing the tissue to form a round pearl sac. The cultivated pearl then forms inside of this sac.
Due to their chemical makeup, pearls are amongst the softest minerals. With a Mohs Hardness between 2.5 and 4.5, pearls can be scratched easily with metal objects, including coins. The softer pearls are crushed and used in cosmetics and medicines, which the Chinese have been doing for hundreds of years as they believed pearl powder cured many ailments, including stomach ailments and facial imperfections.
In addition to their medicinal value, pearls are prized as symbols of wealth and elegance. Before the creation of cultured pearls, natural pearls were so expensive that only the noble could afford them. This was even more true during the Roman Empire when the Roman general Vitellius sold one of his mother’s pearl earrings to fund his entire military campaign.
Using Pearls in an Engagement Ring
Highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty, pearls represent elegance, rarity, and admiration. Pearls are prized for their one-of-a-kind mirror-like luster, which comes from the reflection of light from the many translucent layers. The more layers in a pearl, the more brilliant the luster. Furthermore, pearls are desirable due to the ease with which their colors can be changed. With a dyeing process, pearls can be changed to any chosen color, include pink, purple, and teal.
Due to their more delicate structure, pearls are ideal for the elegant partner who is particular about jewelry care. Pearl jewelry, especially rings, should be removed before cleaning or strenuous activities to protect the stone. However, pearls are entirely unique and no two stones are entirely similar.
Due to their uniqueness, the value of a pearl can vary greatly among differently-sized stones. The value of pearls is determined according to size, shape, color, luster, and surface quality. Larger stones with more symmetrical, perfect shapes and brilliant lusters will be more expensive. If you are considering purchasing a pearl for use in an engagement ring, make sure to visit a reputable dealer and choose a pearl as special as your loved one.
Pearls are one of the more delicate gemstones and should be treated with particular care. They can be damaged by harsh cleaners, cosmetics, or even hair products. Any type of scouring pad or toothbrush should not be used. Bleach, vinegar, or ammonia will harm pearls, so the pearl wearer should avoid wearing their jewelry when interacting with these chemicals. Furthermore, ultrasonic or steam cleaners should not be used on pearls. Pearls should be cleaned with soft cloth dampened only with water.
Custom Pearl Rings by Caesar’s Designs
Black Tahetian Pearl in Rose Gold and Sterling Silver
Custom Made Pearl Ring in 18K Oxidized Sterling Silver
If you are shopping for a pearl engagement ring we hope you found this page helpful. You may be interested learning more on the engagement ring settings, the choosing the right metal, or the engagement ring band styles pages.
If you have any questions about designing unique pearl engagement rings or wedding bands please do not hesitate to contact us, at 412.621.0345. Caesar is a certified gemologist and has over 25 years of experience designing one of a kind engagement rings.