One of the first known gems to be valued by people, pearls have mystified and fascinated the minds of humans for centuries. Gemologists classify these beauties as organic gems. Organic gems come from things that were once living.
All natural pearls are formed inside molluscs. Molluscs are soft bodied marine animals that normally have one shell or two. An example of a one shelled Mollusc is an Abalone. Natural pearls occur without any intervention by humans.
A natural pearl is the beautiful, organic gem that forms inside the body of a Mollusc when a parasite or another foreign matter naturally enters their body. The substance which the Mollusc produces to cover the inside of their shell, which is called Nacre (nak-kur), is then used by the creature to sooth the irritation caused by the foreign matter – thus forming what we call a pearl.
Cultured pearls are the result of humans inserting foreign particles inside the Mollusc. Natural pearls have multiple layers of nacre with no nucleus.
history of the pearl
Throughout history, pearls have held a unique presence within the wealthy and powerful. For instance the pearl was the favoured gem of the wealthy during the Roman Empire. This gift from the sea had been brought back from the Orient by the Roman conquests. Roman women wore natural pearls to bed so they could be reminded of their wealth immediately upon waking.
Pearls were once considered an exclusive privilege for royalty. A law in 1612 drawn up by the Duke of Saxony prohibited the wearing of pearls by nobility, professors, doctors or their wives in an effort to further distinguish royal appearance.
Naturally occurring pearls are rare. Ringcraft Moana New Zealand has a very large collection of natural Abalone pearls of gem quality as well as white and black south sea pearls. Within our studio we grade and trade natural Abalone (Paua) Pearls worldwide.
1ct pearl parcels of small freeform pearls, blister pearls and large conical pearls are available.
Please contact us so we can sort out your individual pearl parcel or a single pearl for you.