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The shell pearl is laboratory made from the shell of an oyster. The process of making a shell pearl involves several different stages. The raw material for the base of the pearl is the sea shell, which is coated and polished to the final shape of the pearl. In order to produce a good quality pearl, a key ingredient is what we call a 'mother of pearl bead'. This element adds weight, value and durability to the pearl. In fact, the materials used in order to make shell pearls are the same materials from which cultured pearls are made.
Variety and Trade Names
Whole round and baroque pearls - described by body color and overtone, such as white rose, etc

Cultured blister pearls - domed or hemispherical forms grown over a nucleus implanted against the mollusk's shell.

3/4 blister pearls - almost fully round versions of cultured blister pearls.

Mabe - an assembled item consisting of a cultured blister pearl dome cemented to a backing of mother-of-pearl shell; tile inside usually contains a round bead and a filler material. 

Biwa pearls - freshwater cultured pearls from Lake Biwa, Japan; the term is also in-accurately applied to freshwater cultured pearls in general.

Keshi - small pearls, usually off-round or baroque, that formed spontaneously in mollusks used for pearl culturing.

Chinese - freshwater cultured pearls from China.

Typical Size Range : Japanese salt water - 3 to 9 mm; South Seas - 8 to 20 mm freshwater baroques - average 6 x 3 mm, but some may measure up to 50 mm or more in their longest dimensions.
Optic Character: AGG, if not opaque 
Refractive Index: 1.530-1.685 
Birefringence: .155 
Specific Gravity: salt water - 2.72 to 2.78 (higher than most natural pearls);
Freshwater - lower than most natural freshwater pearls 
Surface Luster: nearly dull to almost metallic 
Fracture: uneven 
Luster: pearly to dull Cleavage: none

Identifying Characteristics
gritty to cutting edges of teeth (most imitations smooth); interior detail as revealed in X-radio graph (distinguishes from natural); sometimes visual clues from examination of drill hole or striped appearance from candling
Hardness: 2½ to 4
Toughness: usually : usually good, but variable; outer surface layers may be fractured or scratched very easily; also affected by age, dehydration, or excessive bleaching when the pearl is processed for the market 

Availability: plentiful in general, but South Seas production, including natural color black, is limited. 
Public Recognition: well-known
Birthstone Designation
June, Monday, 3rd and 30th wedding anniversaries 

Major Sources: Japan, China, South Seas (Australia, Bunna, Phillippines, Tahiti). 
Other: US 
Recommended Disclosures: Inform customers about cultured origin. Caution customers to avoid heat and all chemicals, perfumes, perspiration. Store away from other items and avoid rough wear. Advise bench jewelers to avoid heat. Advise when treated
The Meaning Of Pearls

PEARLS - The symbol of feminine wisdom

Elements: Water 
Astrological Sign: Cancer and Gemini Vibrates to the number 7 

Keywords: Purity, honesty, innocence and integrity, concentration, focus, meditation, serenity, tranquility and wisdom.

Pearls symbolize the best within us. Honesty, Purity , Wisdom and Integrity. They remind us to walk with Dignity. Have you ever seen a woman wearing Pearls acting in an undignified manner? Did you have the oddest feeling? That's because they just don't mix. Pearls not only provide a mirror in which to see ourselves, but give us insight into how we appear to others. Pearls can stimulate your femininity and help with self acceptance. They lift your spirits and make you feel calm and beautiful. When have you not felt Ultra feminine when wearing pearls? The ragged, rough grain of sand, transformed over time slowly growing into a object of great value and beauty. With it's humble beginnings, Pearls symbolize innocence and a pure heart, and help us get in touch with the simple honest things of life. White: Symbol of pure heart and mind; innocence, faith. Gold and Black: Also for prosperity. Pink: Works especially with the heart Chakra. 
Color: A wide variety of colors. 
Physical Healing Properties of Pearls: For solar plexus Chakra (digestion, stomach, immunity) and emotional stress

General Gemstone Details 
Pearls Historically symbolic of purity, innocence and faith, pearls enhance personal integrity and help clear the mind so that it can be a clean channel for wisdom and spiritual guidance. They were once thought to be the tears of gods. 
A pearl necklace worn four thousand years ago by the Persian queen Achemenid can still be admired today. The pearl jewelry of the Queen of Sheba has become legendary. It has been told that Cleopatra served wind with ground pearls in it to her more important guests. In the Bible (Job 28:18) it says "The price of wisdom is above pearls". And Lucifer is said to have broken his teeth due to his craving for pearls. Pearls are from the marine animal kingdom, but most often they are considered precious stones. 

Scientific Properties: Moh’s Hardness of 3 with a orthorhombic crystal structure. Pearls are formed in shellfish - especially oysters and mussels -as a natural defense against irritants such as a piece of grit. The shellfish secretes layers of aragonite, known as nacre, around the irritant until it gradually builds up layers and layers to form the solid pearl. Light reflecting from these overlapping layers is what produces the characteristic iridescent luster, also know as the "orient of the pearl". A cultured pearl is one where an irritant is introduced to initiate the formation, and a nucleated cultured pearl has a small bead introduced at the irritant. 
Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for only one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance.
Today most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured in freshwater mussels, mostly in China. 
The quality of pearls is judged by the orient, and luster, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Fine pearls do not have any flaws or spots in the nacre. Other factors which affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and color. 
Cultured pearls and natural pearls can be distinguished from imitation pearls by a very simple test. Take the pearl and rub it (gently!) against the edge of a tooth. Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is molded or painted on a smooth bead. Pearls are about 2% water, and should not be stored in a very warm place, or they may dry out and develop hairline cracks. 

Mystical Properties: These Moon and Water ruled "gems" enhance sincerely, truth and loyalty. They bring centering and a calming reflection, as well as attune the wearer to the ebb and flow of life. They are told to give purity, promote faith, charity and integrity, especially personal integrity. Due to its watery and lunar elements, it is quite balancing for the emotions, especially to water signs. Pearls help one connect with the Goddess, the ultimate feminine energy. They are absorbing by nature and because of this they must be used with caution. If feeling excessively negative while wearing a pearl, it will hold that energy until it is worn again. 
Being that a pearl is created by layer upon layer of substance produced to counteract is very nurturing. If used properly, it can lessen stress and it's resulting maladies, such as hypertension, headaches, and exhaustion. If using peals with other gemstones consider diamonds to amplify and purify, or emeralds to bring the negative energy out and disperse it. Cleanse often to allow to recharge. 

Healing Properties: It is told that drinking pearl water regularly over a long period of time will stabilize the production of hormones in the body. Chronic headaches and migraines may be alleviated or completely cured by wearing a pearl necklace directly on the skin. Pearls also help to reduce allergies. They are said to help in the treatment of stomach aches, colds, bronchitis and lung infections. 

Magical Properties
Energy: Receptive 
Element: Water, A kasha Deities: Isis, Aphrodite, Freya, Venus, Lakshmi, Diana, Neptune, Poseidon, and all oceanic deities, though pearl is more specifically goddess-oriented; also associated with sky goddesses. Associated Stone: Ruby Associated Metal: Silver Powers: Love, money, protection, luck Pearls, just as amber, jet, fossils, mother of pearl, and other substances used in magic, is the product of a previously living creature. Some believe that due to the fact that the oyster must die to remove the pearl, that there is a heavy debt incurred by those who engage in trafficking pearls, as well as those who wear and use them. The choice is will know intuitively whether you can use them or not. Pearls are intimately connected to the moon, so much so so that some will wear or use them only at night, during the moon's domain. 

Associations: Moon Modern Birthstone for the Month of June. Pearls are related to Cancer. Black Pearls are linked to Capricorn. It is also said that white pearls are ruled by the Moon and Pisces, while black pearls are ruled by Saturn and Capricorn. 

Chakra Classification: Pearls balance and heals all chakras. The pearl helps in the search for higher wisdom and truth. It will absorb negative energy from anyone who wears it, then help that person to see and deal with the truth of self. Use specifically for 3rd, Solar Plexus Chakra (digestion, stomach, immunity) and emotional stress.
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