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The Pearl Girls’ “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” in honor of graduation!

May 31, 2011

The Pearl Girls ode to “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Suess.

Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You have a necklace by The Pearl Girls.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the girl who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets.

Look’em over with care.

About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go strutting down a not-so-good street. (especially when you look so good!)

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.

In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Whether casual or dressy, your pearls can take you there!

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as stylish,  brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the pearls, the look and the confidence.

You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest!

Here is Emily in her pearls from The Pearl Girls in her senior picture. Happy Graduation and Congratulations!

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The Science of Pearls

May 22, 2011

The Pearl Girls jewelry… sometimes the most important thing to know is that it is beautiful and it makes us feel like the gorgeous women we are. However, wee are also so fascinated with pearls and, today we wanted to share a bit of the science of these organic gems with you.

As you know, pearls come from mollusks, the soft-bodied invertebrate species that encompasses oysters (in salt water), mussels (in freshwater), sea snails and even other species that do not have a shell! Squid are mollusks too! We are, of course, concerned with the mollusks that produce pearls. These mollusks have cells in their soft tissue mantle that excrete a hardening liquid that forms their mollusk shells. When these shells form they have various layers. The innermost layer is made of nacre. Nacre is another word for Mother-of-pearl.

Nacre is made mostly of conchiolin, which acts as a glue to hold together calcium carbonite platelets. The calcium carbonite can be made of either aragonite or calcite. What is the difference? Both are composed of calcium, carbon and oxygen, but they have different crystal structures causing them to interact with light differently.

The quality of a pearl’s appearance in reflected light is known as luster. Aragonite crystals and light interact to create a complex luster. Calcite crystals and light create a simple shine similar to porcelain. Conch pearls are made of calcite. The Pearl Girls pearls are made of aragonite. Even within the pearls made of aragonite crystals, though, luster can vary. Other factors that effect luster are the depth of the nacre, the quality of the nacre, the temperature of the water, the type of foods the mollusk eats and more!

Nacre has extremely thin layers making light travel through it at different speeds and angles. This causes light to break up into its component spectral colors, creating an iridescent effect. This effect is known as Orient. Typically pearls with irregular shapes display Orient. In our current collection, the Everyday Necklace with the coin pearl is a perfect display of Orient.

For the most part, though, pearls are best known for their luster. Of the 7 different qualifying factors of pearls most people agree that the luster, or shine, is the most important. The Pearl Girls value this factor in their pearls, and we hope you notice the beautiful luster of The Pearl Girls pearls!

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Pearl Worthy Moment

May 17, 2011

Throughout the history of The Pearl Girls, we have heard from our customers about the special moments that they bought pearls for. Pearls are a classic item that are perfect for  all events from the most significant moments to the daily activities. Here are some of the special moments that our customers purchased The Pearl Girls jewelry for throughout the past few years, and we’d love to add yours to the list!

This year we were contacted by an esteemed Poet and English Professor from Virginia who was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She purchased the Black Opera Necklace to wear to the Guggenheim reception in New York City! This is a great example of how a classic piece of jewelry can be used to celebrate huge days in the lives of our customers!

Yvonne in  Florida treated herself to the Samantha Necklace in honor of her 60 birthday! We believe sometimes the gifts you give yourself are the best ones of all!

Nathan from Tennessee bought the Classic Necklace for his wife and the Little Girl Necklace for his new baby daughter to present to each of them after his daughter’s birth. It will surely be something that they will remember and treasure for a lifetime.

Elizabeth from Pennsylvania bought the Pearl and Faceted Crystal Earrings for her bridal party! Every bride needs the perfect pearl necklace and earrings to accompany her glowing expression on one of the most important days of her life!

Anne from Georgia bought the Opera Length White Necklace to wear to her daughter’s wedding! The mother of the bride needs to look amazing too!

Lillian from California bought the cultured pearl cross “because she once saw a similar piece on the necklace belonging to a movie star!” Every woman deserves to feel like a celebrity every now and then!

Scott from Florida celebrated his first wedding anniversary by buying his wife the Classic Pearl Necklace. This is the perfect gift for a first anniversary.

Nancy’s husband gives their daughter one new pearl to add to her necklace every year when they attend the Nutcracker Ballet tomorrow. What a special and unique tradition!

Jessica and Sutton received pearls for their college graduations. Pearls are a coming of age gift that can accompany any girl into her life as a woman.

We’d love to hear about your special stories involving pearls as well! It’s so great for us to hear what your pearls mean to you!

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Are your pearls real? How to know the difference!

May 10, 2011

We asked you how you know if a pearl is real! So, how do you know? Many companies use the term “pearl” very loosely. Majorca has pearls. Swarovski has pearls. There are glass pearls, cotton ball pearls, shell pearls, plastic pearls and even mother of pearl beads… these terms use the word pearl, but they are all forms of imitation pearls. They may use pearl dust, resin, pearl pieces, shells and other lustrous materials to man-make these “pearls”. They aren’t the real thing!

The inspiration for writing this post is because we have seen people selling pearls that they claimed were real. We want to honestly believe that the salesperson just didn’t know and was not intentionally trying to deceive their customers. However, if you as a customer know what to look for… you will never be deceived!

What is genuine? According to the dictionary, genuine means possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real.  A genuine pearl simply means an organic gem that has been born of a mollusk and was not made by human hands. Pearls can be natural although we know that most pearls today are cultured. Cultured means that the process was started by human intervention however the pearl that is formed is still all real, born of a mollusk after months or years of being formed. The technical names for the minerals in pearls are calcite or aragonite. They form a lattice type structure of layers to create what ultimately becomes a pearl.

One of the best ways to know if a pearl is real is to understand that pearls are rarely perfect! They are organic gems so they will come with small imperfections, marks, indentions or other spots. Have you ever seen a completely flawless pearl necklace? Me too! And it was fake. It is almost impossible to create an entire strand of flawless pearls. Now, ideally, you do not want huge, noticeable surface imperfections on your pearls ,however the best way to know if your pearls are real… look closely… there will be imperfections.

Have you ever heard about rubbing your teeth on your pearls? Try it! I like to rub pearls against the bottom of my top teeth. The matrix of interlocking aragonite feels gritty on your teeth. Now grab a strand of Majorca beads or plastic pearl. They will glide right across your teeth. If you feel the grit, you know they are real.

Many times I can tell if pearls are fake simply by their weight. Huge pearls will be heavy. If they aren’t, they may be the new fad of coated cotton balls made to look real. This is difficult, though, because with the new painted glass beads on the market, they are weighting the “pearls” so they feel comparable to the real thing.

Now, I don’t recommend doing anything to your sensitive pearls that might lead to their degradation so I am not going to recommend this, but I did want to share it with you. You can rub two genuine pearls together and they will again feel gritty. If you rub a bit harder, a powder fine powder will form from the breakdown of the pearls.

And yes, a final way to know if your pearls are real, just ask a pearl grader with The Pearl Girls. We deal strictly with genuine pearls so you will never be fooled!

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Moms & Pearls: Together in History

April 30, 2011

With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching next Sunday, May 8th this is the perfect time to find a great gift that every woman would appreciate. Pearls have been a symbol of femininity for years, and there’s no better way to let your mom know you appreciate her than giving her the gift that will last a lifetime from The Pearl Girls. We offer a variety of different styles of pearl jewelry from modern and unique pieces to traditional strands of pearls. There is certainly something for every mom out there. Check out these pictures of famous moms in their pearls throughout the years!

 Audrey Hepburn

Princess Diana

Jackie Kennedy
 June Cleaver

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The Season for Pearls

April 25, 2011

This is the perfect time of year for pearls! With Easter, Mother”s Day, Graduations, and Springtime all right here, there are plenty of reasons why order some pearls from The Pearl Girls should be on your to-do list!

We introduced the Silver Cross Charm this past week. It has a lobster clasp which can be clipped onto any strand of pearls you own! We thought it was perfect for Easter today, but it’s never too late for a classic cross accessory. It could make an awesome mother’s day gift as well. Check it out here: https://www.pearl-girls.com/products/view/178

With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, we’ll be featuring famous mothers throughout history who wore pearls. We’d love for everyone to participate and post their own pictures too! It’s so much fun to look back on old memories! Pearls are always an elegant choice for a mother’s day gift, and we can guarantee that no Mom will be upset with a beautiful strand of pearls! You can’t go wrong with a beautiful pearl necklace from The Pearl Girls!

Also pearls are also a great gift idea if you have a daughter, friend, niece or any young woman who is graduating this May. Whether they are graduating from high school or college, pearls are an awesome way to congratulate a young lady and provide them with an essential and timeless piece of jewelry! We have a great variety of modern and unique pieces that are perfect for graduates, or you could choose from the variety of pieces in the classic collection!

We’ll be focusing on these events and holidays coming up in the next few weeks, and we’ll be providing you with all the tips and fun facts you should know!! Keep checking back with The Pearl Girls, so you can buy the perfect gift this spring!

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The Difference Between Saltwater and Freshwater Pearls

April 13, 2011

At The Pearl Girls we absolutely love freshwater pearls. Although we use some saltwater pearls in our pieces, we adore freshwater because they are the closest rival to natural pearls. However, we’ve found that some people misunderstand freshwater pearls. After Mikimoto started culturing saltwater pearls in the early 1900s, he tried the same process in freshwater, yet he could not produce gem quality pearls! The freshwater pearls looked like pieces of rice. So, the name freshwater pearls became synonymous with off sized, lower quality pearls. How times have changed!

World War II halted the efforts to culture freshwater pearls in Japan and led to the Chinese taking over perfecting this process. They have come leaps and bounds in the past decades producing large, beautiful and round freshwater pearls. So, what is the difference in freshwater and saltwater pearls? To answer this, we turn to “Pearls:  A Natural History” which was a huge exhibit on pearls at the American Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately, this exhibit is no longer available, but the book from the exhibit remains a valuable resource.

Although the composition of pearls remains the same, there are five differences in the process of culturing freshwater pearls versus culturing saltwater pearls. First, to get the freshwater mussels, their larvae must survive. This is a difficult process because the larvae attach to a fish host before they metamorphose.  So, survival of the mollusk becomes an issue of culturing fish as well as the mussels used for pearls.

Inside the saltwater oyster or the freshwater mussel, the placement of the nucleus is different. In saltwater pearls, a bead or shell is inserted in the gonad of the oyster. This is not possible in freshwater mollusks because of its different composition. In freshwater mollusks a small piece of tissue is placed in the soft mantle tissue, which lines the shell. A piece of shell would never fit in this thin lining, so a piece of tissue is used instead. This leads to our third difference.

I have said before that freshwater pearls are the closest rivals to natural pearls. Because the nucleus is just a piece of tissue, these tissue-nucleated freshwater pearls are 100% nacre and are difficult to distinguish from natural pearls which have no nucleus at all. They are all pearl and tend to be heavier than their saltwater counterparts.

Freshwater pearls can be nucleated many times, meaning that the yield from a freshwater mollusk is higher than that of a saltwater oyster.

Freshwater environments are also easier to maintain than saltwater environments. In the ocean there tend to be more pollutants, which harm the pearl production.  Saltwater pearl farms must expend a lot of energy to clean their oysters both before and after nucleation.

Finally, saltwater pearl productions cost more money than freshwater. Saltwater farms require divers, ships, boats and complex equipment to access and maintain their saltwater pearl oysters. Freshwater farms are able to maintain their productions on a smaller scale. The total cost put into producing a saltwater pearl is considerable higher that what it takes to produce a freshwater pearl.

I hope this helps you understand the differences in these pearl processes. Let us know if you have any questions!