Pearls have been used as jewelry since 2,300 BC. when they were given as gifts to Chinese royalty. In ancient Rome, pearls were considered a symbol of social status, with King Julius Caesar passing a law that only high-ranking people in society were allowed to wear pearls.

The symbolism of natural pearls has varied over time. In ancient China, pearls symbolized purity, while in the Middle Ages, pearls were worn by knights on the battlefield as they were believed to protect them against enemies. In ancient Greece, natural pearls were believed to bring happiness to the family, while Islamic tradition associated pearls with perfection.
Natural pearls were discovered by chance by some people walking on the beach. They are formed inside oysters, mussels or clams, and the formation process of a pearl can last between 10 - 20 years. Before the 20th century, the only way to obtain pearls was by diving in the sea, at depths of 30 m, but this method was not always effective because there is a possibility that one ton of oysters would yield a small number of quality pearls. This is how cultured pearls appeared, which are just like natural pearls, and their production can be controlled much more easily.
The first cultured pearl was created in 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a simple Japanese noodle maker. In 1935, there were already more than 350 pearl farms in Japan, and their number continued to grow around the world. With the introduction of cultured pearls, the number of pearl jewelry also increased, being considered a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to natural pearls.
Types of natural pearls:
There are four types of natural pearls that are differentiated by color, shape or the region where they grow. Here they are!

  1. Natural Akoya pearls

The most popular natural pearls are Akoya pearls, recognized by their perfectly round shape and intense luster. These pearls have been growing in the waters of China and Japan for over 100 years and are produced by Pinctada oysters. The size of natural Akoya pearls can vary between 4 - 10 mm, and the colors in which they can be found are: white or cream (the most common), blue - silver, gold or even pink. The outer appearance of these pearls is not the only thing that attracts the eye, because their internal structure makes them worthy of the status of "precious stones". Each pearl is different because it is the result of a biological process carried out by nature, and it is precisely the imperfection that gives it its beauty.
  1. Natural Tahitian pearls

Many believe that these natural pearls can be found in Tahiti, when in fact they come from the islands of French Polynesia and are produced by oysters of the Pinctada species. Natural Tahitian pearl jewelry is highly sought after around the world because it is elegant and can make any outfit stand out. The color impresses the most and attracts attention, natural Tahitian pearls are often called "black pearls". However, colors can range from blue, purple or green to gray. The size of these natural pearls varies from 8 to 15 mm, depending on the age of the oysters (young oysters produce Tahitian pearls between 8 - 12 mm in size, while oysters that have already given 1-2 generations of pearls produce pearls of much larger dimensions, over 12 mm).
  1. Freshwater natural pearls

Natural Freshwater pearls are quite similar to Akoya pearls in shape, but they are not as shiny. These natural pearls usually grow in the waters of rivers, ponds and lakes in China, are found in pastel colors and range in size from 5 - 12 mm. In terms of price, Freshwater natural pearls are the most affordable. Freshwater pearls are unique in the world in that they are made of solid crystals and are extremely durable over time, resistant to the tests of time and wear.
  1. Natural South Sea pearls

Natural South Sea pearls are found in Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia and are saltwater pearls. They are produced by Pinktada maxima oysters and the color of the pearls varies between white and gold. Natural South Sea pearls are quite rare, they have a perfectly round shape (sometimes they are also found in the shape of a drop), and their size can even reach 18 mm.
The appearance of these natural pearls is extremely elegant and pleasant, due to the layers of compact and smooth crystals. The more compact the layers of aragonite and conchioline, the more intense the color and luster of the pearl.
How to recognize natural pearls:
Natural pearls are sometimes a real investment, which is why you need to make sure they are genuine. There are some details you can pay attention to to recognize natural pearls, such as their appearance. Natural pearls are not perfect because they are created in a natural way, so no two pearls will be alike. Natural pearls usually have small imperfections on their surface that give them personality and make them unique. If you notice that the pearls have the same color, the same shape, and have no imperfections, there is a good chance that they are not natural, but just an imitation.
The recognition of natural pearls also lies in the clear and intense luster that characterizes natural pearls, and those of high quality should shine intensely when placed in direct sunlight. The color of the pearls or more precisely the color change of the pearls is another indicator of authenticity. High quality pearls have different color tones that are visible when they are exposed to light. For example, white pearls have rose or ivory tones when exposed to sunlight. In the case of fake pearls, we cannot speak of this change of tones.
You can distinguish genuine pearls from fake ones not only by analyzing the appearance, but also by touch. Natural pearls are cool to the touch regardless of the temperature outside and are heavier than imitation pearls.
Jewelry that can be made with natural pearls :
Natural pearl jewelry is extremely precious and can bring anonymity to any outfit. Since ancient times, they have been considered the symbol of wealth and prestige, so if you want your outfit to look expensive, luxurious, all you have to do is add a piece of jewelry with natural pearls. The good part is that natural pearl jewelry will never go out of style and can be worn with any type of outfit. Here are some examples of jewelry that can be made with natural pearls!
  • Necklaces : a necklace with natural pearls will add oomph to your outfit and give you the confidence you need. If you want a classic and elegant look, you can choose a necklace made of white pearls, and if you need something more daring, you can opt for a necklace with black or other colored pearls.

  • Earrings : earrings with natural pearls should not be missing from the jewelry box. Whether you choose a simple single pearl button design or more loaded ones, they will always catch the eye of those who love tasteful accessories.

  • Pendants : A pearl pendant will always be a refined choice. You can combine some simple earrings with a pearl with an equally simple pendant and you will get an effective and elegant look.

  • Bracelets : Pearl bracelets are recommended for more special events, along with a pearl necklace of the same color, when you need an evening outfit that stands out through simplicity and style.

  • Rings : a simple ring with a pearl can be the perfect accessory for a lighter outfit or for a casual look.

As you can see, you have several types of jewelry with natural pearls that you can choose to accessorize your outfit. When choosing pearl jewelry, do not forget to consider the purpose of the event you are attending and other criteria such as skin, eye or hair color (for example, white pearls are recommended for people with darker skin and hair or blue or green eyes).
Maintenance of natural pearl jewelry :
If you have decided to buy jewelry with natural pearls, you must make sure that they will be kept in good conditions so that you can always enjoy them. Here are some tips and recommendations for natural pearl care!
  • After each wearing of natural pearl jewelry, take a soft cloth and remove any traces of perfume or sweat.
  • If the pearls have become dirty, do not use a rough brush to clean them or solutions containing chemicals because you risk damaging them. You can use milder substances, a natural soap or even baby shampoo.
  • If you often wear natural pearl jewelry, it is necessary to take it to a jeweler at least once a year to have it cleaned.
  • After wearing and cleaning your pearls, wrap them in a soft cloth such as deerskin and place them in a jewelry box, separate from other accessories that might scratch them.
  • It is not advisable to keep the pearls in a place that is too dry or poorly ventilated because they will deteriorate.
  • Accessorize your outfit with pearls only after you have styled and perfumed yourself, because they are sensitive to contact with chemicals or acids that we usually find in perfumes.
If you follow these tips, you will enjoy your natural pearl jewelry for a long time and you will catch everyone's eyes the moment you wear it.
Top 3 most famous jewelry with natural pearls :
Countless stories have been written around natural pearls. From the famous La Peregrina pearl to the strings of pearls worn by Coco Chanel, they have all gone around the world. Here are the 3 most famous natural pearl jewelry in the world!
  1. Peregrina pearl, the most coveted in the world

One of the most famous pearls in the world is La Peregrina. It has the shape of a teardrop and the size of a pigeon's egg, being the most admired and coveted gem in the world. The origin of this pearl is quite controversial. Some say it was found in Panama in 1560 by a black slave, others say it came from Venezuela and was brought to Spain in 1574 by King Philip II who gave it to his wife, Queen Maria. The famous pearl also ended up in the hands of the actress Elisabeth Taylor, and at the moment it is mounted on a necklace with diamonds, rubies and other pearls, created by Cartier.
  1. The Huerfana pearl, the crown jewel of Spain
The Huerfana Pearl is one of the most remarkable jewels of the Spanish Crown and has a fascinating story because it was not found in a seashell but was discovered in a fabric in the Gulf of Panama. This pearl has gone down in history not only because of its extraordinary size, but also because of its exceptional shape and brilliance. The pearl is said to have disappeared in the 18th century in the Spanish Palace fire.
  1. The pearl necklaces worn by Coco Chanel

The long natural pearl necklaces worn by Coco Chanel have remained famous in history. In the year 1920, this model of pearl necklaces over 30 cm long was fashionable among women. In fact, Coco Chanel declared that women need such pearl necklaces. The famous fashion designer took pearls to another level and began to accessorize her pearls, until then considered a symbol of elegance and sophistication, with much more casual day outfits. The Chanel fashion house has kept the creator's passion for pearls and frequently integrates them into jewelry collections. Even in 2014, a luxury jewelry collection with classic pearls was launched.
Natural pearls vs cultured pearls :    
If you love pearls, you've surely heard of this difference between natural and cultured pearls. In fact, both types of pearls are considered precious stones, the only difference between them being the way they were formed.
Pearls form naturally when a foreign body such as sand gets between the clam's shell and its mantle. The moment this foreign body gets inside the oyster, its defense mechanism is activated and layers of secretions begin to produce and slowly develop into a pearl. The process of forming pearls organically takes a very long time, requiring an enormous amount of oysters to be able to collect a few high-quality pearls, which is why cultured pearls appeared. The first man to obtain a cultured pearl was Kokichi Mikimoto in 1893, and today approximately 99% of pearl jewelry is made from cultured pearls.
The quality of cultured pearls is identical to that of organically obtained pearls because the pearl formation process is identical. Moreover, in a controlled environment, the survival rate of oysters is much higher, therefore the amount of pearls obtained is also higher. In addition, the price of cultured pearls is much lower than that of natural pearls. We are talking about the same quality of pearls and genuine pearls in both cases, but different prices because organically obtained ones are increasingly rare.


Conclusions :

Natural pearl jewelry should be a must-have accessory for women who want elegance and sophistication. Even though the price of pearl jewelry is quite high, it should be seen as an investment in one's self-image. A natural pearl necklace or a fine bracelet will always attract the attention of those around you at an event and bring you many compliments. In addition, with such a jewel, your confidence will be much higher, knowing that your outfit is accessorized with a pearl jewel, a symbol of prestige and social status.