According to ancient Greek legend, pearls came about through tears of joy shed at the birth of the goddess Aphrodite. When her tears hit the ocean, they turned into gems as beautiful as she. Ever since, the saying goes that a pearl is a gift of joyful tears.
Strange, but true: oysters make pearls in response to irritants that enter their shell. To keep it healthy, the oyster produces nacre – a protective coating also known as mother-of-pearl. Layers of nacre gradually form the famously iridescent gem. Due to ocean warming, many oysters flee their habitat in search of colder waters. Pearl farming is therefore becoming ever more challenging, and high-quality pearls increasingly hard to find.
In 1888, Mikimoto Kokichi built the first-ever “cultured” pearl farm in Japan. His special cultivating technique has since been adopted throughout the whole Pacific. Pearls vary greatly in size, shape and color, yet luster remains the most important factor in judging their quality.
From time to time, we love to give our collection an extra feminine, romantic touch by adding some lovely pearls. The same goes here as for all our gems: we like the unusual tones the best – a hint of yellow-green, soft peachy pink or greyish aubergine.
Today, South Sea pearls are mainly found in Polynesia, northern Australia, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Fresh-water pearls are common in China, whilst Tahitian pearls are primarily grown in French Polynesia.