Pearls are highly valued as gemstones. They define true elegance. Pearls have adorned the necks of the world's most beautiful women through time such as Queen Elizabeth down to modern day icons like Jackie Onassis and Princess Diana. What makes pearl jewelry the "it" item when it comes to ladies' accessories is its sheer elegance and simplicity.
It makes any outfit classy and beautiful. Women in England at a time made it a habit to wear pearl necklaces or pearl earrings to important functions like parties and even to church. The fad caught on and pearls today are one of the world's most valued pieces of jewelry. Pearls are made from a substance called nacre or mother-of-pearl. They are substance formed by bivalve mollusks, secreted to get rid of irritants in the mollusk's inner layers of the body. Foreign particles often enter the mollusk's body and it reacts by secreting nacre, a form of aragonite crystal that coats the irritant in layers of nacreous substance.
The highly prized ones are the spherical in shape. If the pearls are cut out of the mollusk shell, it has a semi-spherical shape and called a button pearl. If it is irregular in shape, it is called a baroque pearl. There are many shapes and sizes of pearls and the pearl trade industry classifies some of them according to shape as bell, drop or pear and according to color like white, rose, cream and black. The most beautiful pearls come from the Persian Gulf but some places such as Baja California, Mexico and the Gulf of Panama also produces some high-quality pearls. Freshwater pearls are also gaining popularity and are produced by freshwater mussels.
China is one of the leading producers of freshwater river pearls. There are also pearls which are produced by an unnatural process of pearl formation. Instead of being formed through the repetitive coating of nacre over a foreign substance, some pearls are formed when the mollusk shell spits out the foreign substance (usually a piece of shell) even before the process of coating is complete. The result is a Keshi pearl. Some people also call it Keishi pearl. Keshi means "poppy seed" in Japan and the pearls look like that.
Japan has started to culture pearls as early as the 1920s, starting with spherical spheres but has branched on to other shaped and sized pearls. Keshi pearls cannot really be considered a natural pearl in its most literal terms since it does not complete the pearl-making process. However, they are still valued in the same way as natural pearls since their occurrence is infrequent and their quality in terms of luster is still topnotch. The pearl industry has been perfecting the spherically shaped pearls and takes precaution to ensure the natural pearl making process is completed. They do this by using x-rays to determine if the nucleus of the oysters is still inside or not. If not, they will place another nucleus or bead inside for completion of the pearl-making process.
Keshi pearls are used more for avant-garde jewelry than for the classic pearl strands that we see today. They can also be made into beautiful bracelets and chandelier earrings. Unlike round-shaped pearls, Keshi pearls give a more modern look to jewelry and have a more flexible use. They can also be incorporated into rings, brooches, pendants and even beautiful tiaras. Keshi pearls have become the choice pearls for this modern age.
For more information on Keishi pearl types and shapes, freshwater pearls, pearl necklace, pearl earrings and other pearl jewelry, visit YouPearl Jewelry at http://www.youpearl.com