Pearls:  One of Man's Oldest Gems

If you are interested in learning a bit about this unique gemstone, I invite you to view a powerpoint presentation I put together, called Pearl: The Gem of Queens.  It includes some lovely old photos as well as information on the comparison between natural, cultured, and imitation pearls.
The Pearl:
The Queen of Gems,
The Gem of Queens
(and Kings!)

Caring for Your Pearls:

Your pearls can look beautiful for generations if properly cared for.  For some tips on taking care of your pearl jewelry, click here.
Let's Talk Pearls

One of man's first gemstones, pearls have withstood the fashion "test of time".  Timesless, elegant, always in style.  All of our pearls are cultured:  they developed naturally within the body of an oyster or other mollusk, albeit with a helping hand from man to get the process started (further info below). 

Our pearls come from a variety of places around the world, mainly from Japan, China, Australia, and French Polynesia.  Our necklaces and bracelets are knotted on silk.  Since each piece is hand crafted, we can make a piece that will be perfect for you.  Let us know if you would like a special piece of pearl jewelry created just for you! 

Beautiful cultured pearls, each one unique.  My pearl jewelry utilizes fine cultured pearls, most pieces made to order, so it is difficult to show on a website the exact necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings that are available to you.  I studied pearls at the Gemological Institute of America and earned my Pearls Graduate degree, so I have some experience selecting just the right pearls for you.

A brief bit of background about pearls may be helpful before we begin our discussion of the pearl jewelry you would like for yourself or for a gift.  I meet hundreds of people each year as I travel on cruise ships and do presentations on pearls and it is always helpful to make sure we are all "speaking the same language" in terms of these wonderful gems.

Natural pearls:  These are pearls that are created entirely by nature, by the little mollusks that live inside their shells.  Except for keshi pearls (see below), it is safe to assume that any pearls you see currently available in a retail store are not natural pearls.  You can find natural pearls in estate jewelry.

Cultured pearls:  I use only cultured pearls in my work.  The pearls grow inside of a mollusk but they get a helping hand from man to get the process started.  The mollusks live in their natural habitats throughout the entire pearl growing cycle.  There are two types of cultured pearls:  Saltwater and freshwater.

Saltwater pearls:  Saltwater pearls are produced inside of mollusks whose natural habitat is salty oceans.  There are three types:  Japanese akoya (from Japan), South Sea (from the northwestern coast of Australia), and Tahitian (from French Polynesia).  These vary in size and color, depending on the oyster species.  Example: Akoya oysters are quite small, so they produce a relatively small pearl.

Freshwater pearls:  These pearls grow inside of mollusks that live in fresh water, in rivers and lakes.

Keshi pearls:  These irregularly shaped pearls are actually natural pearls, but they grow inside of the mollusk during a culturing cycle, however, they are unrelated to the cultured pearl.  They are a wonderful and rare natural "side effect" of the culturing process.

Imitation pearls:  Made to look like pearls, these "pearls" are actually plastic or glass beads that are coated with a pearly paint.  Swarovsi makes glass ones and Majorica "pearls", with the original factory in Majorca, Spain, are among the most well-known of these imitators.
Soon I will be adding images of pearl jewelry available for purchase but until then, if you have a need, a desire for pearls, just get in touch!  I favor pearls that are either white, grey, or black.
Contact us:  888-787-1951  
E-mail:  gems@karentweedie.com
Karen Tweedie Jewelry, 2800 N Atlantic Ave, Suite 9, Daytona Beach, FL  32118