Why Black Pearls Are Considered Rare
Pearls have since time immemorial mesmerized the fairer sex with its shimmering gleam, round shape, scintillating overtones, amazing reflective properties and that 'Hard to get' tag. Pearls are rare, especially certain varieties, which are found in small quantities. These orphic gems are found inside a living mollusk. They are created within the mantle, when a foreign object accidently enters a mollusc which fights back by secreting a compound or nacre around this foreign object in a spherical fashion. Over a period of time the spherical shaped nacre turns into a pearl. Pearls come in an array of shapes, colors and reflective properties. However, they are classified as cultured or non-cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are formed with the help of human intervention. These can be beaded or without a bead. These are further categorized as freshwater or saltwater pearls. The top three types of pearls are as follows. 1. Black pearls - Women have always desired to own these pearls. One of the reasons for this attraction is its rarity. Black orphic gems are difficult to find or culture. The oyster which produces them can be nucleated with a single pearl; making the process extremely slow. Before the advent of cultured pearls they were produced or extracted in limited numbers which made them very expensive and embellishments made from them became heirlooms and prized possessions. Black South Sea orphic gem is produced by black-lipped Pinctada maxima. They are the only oysters that produce South sea gems. These oysters are currently cultured in Australia and Tahiti. Another interesting feature of black sea gems is that they are not actually black in the true sense. These orphic gems imbibe dark shades of purple, blue, green; colors which are synonymous with peacock feathers. 2. Akoya Pearls - These pearls on the other hand are produced by Pinctada Fucata Martensii which is small in size. They are also known as original Japanese cultured pearls. The size of the pearls produced by these oysters range between 6 mm to 10 mm; anything beyond 10mm is a rare find. Hybrid mollusks which are in use today offer large sized pearls. One of its features which make it the darling of women and craftsmen is its perfect round shape and flawless albumen color with overtones of silver or cream. They are typically used to craft necklaces and bracelets. Another captivating feature is their high lustre. 3. Tahitian Pearls - As mentioned above black-lipped south sea pearl Pinctada maxima oysters produce these large dark beauties, which are rare and elusive. These oysters can reach up to a diameter of 12 inches and more which allows them to house and nurture such big pearls. These are extremely sensitive and culturing takes lots of time and care. Pinctada Margaritifera oysters on the other hand are found in abundance in Tahiti and the surrounding lagoons; which is the main source of black orphic gems.