Many of us now know now that pearls are formed in shellfish such as oysters or mussels. A natural defence against an irritant, (such as a grain of sand) creates a secretion by the mussel (argonite) and layers of nacre, secreted around the irritant build up like onion layers to gradually create the solid pearl. Over the centuries the skills to aid in the cultivation of pearls has been handed down through the generations. The process remains a delicate one. Highly skilled lab attendants cause the the mollusk to produce a pearl by insertion of a foreign body. It takes a few years of growth, depending on the diameter of the pearl required. As early as the 13th Century the Chinese created cultured mabes (blister pearls) by placing tiny objects (such as Buddhas) on the inner wall of the mollusk shell, (see my January 29th post) so they would become covered with pearl material. The full pearl however is created in the flesh (lips) of the oyster (see image below). The iridescent lustre, is referred to as the “Orient of Pearl”. Freshwater pearls are river pearls and Seawater pearls come from the ocean. A South Sea pearl is usually over 10mm. Depending on the sand in the area of cultivation the pearl result is Silvery White – Australia, Golden – Indonesia, and Black – Tahiti, although Australia has seen the beginnings of keshi-like (large black/green pearls) “in the rough” like “baroque” pearls, coming from a region in West Australia. Nearly all colours in freshwater pearls, other than the white, whitish pinks, some blues and creams are all “colour assisted” pearls, which makes them “Cultured Fresh Water Pearls”. A simple way I explain it, is, the irritant is saturated before insertion with a natural colouring agent (such as beetroot or spinach) and the nacre built up after this insertion is colour all the way through. It’s a bit unfortunate actually to see, that some lovely natural colour pearls are painted but these pearls end up having no value. Most stark white pearls are bleached, and although at a distance these pearls look striking, this process causes the once divine lustre to diminish. As a lover of pearls I like the natural baroque pearls best although the almost round have a place in the world for sure and are the most in demand. And sadly it seems the larger the better.
Some of the images below are from my Gemstone “Bibles”, Gemstones of the World – Walter Shcumann and Gem Stones – Cathy Hall
You too could have a lovely pearl cuff like Kylie Gillies was wearing on The Morning Show today. This design just never dates and continues to make a simple outfit just shine with a pop of pearl. Pearl Cuff Bracelets just keep on looking fabulous when you don’t want to wear too many accessories. Here are some images of Kylie and of the bracelet.
I wrote a little article many years ago..and after being asked about the type of pearl we use in the Marissa Peacock Blue earring..I thought I’d like to share it
The mabe or blister pearl is an ancient method of pearl harvesting. The stunning effect created, looks like half a huge pearl. However it is a blister created by the oyster with the help of man (cultured pearling). To form a Mabe or blister pearl, a small base usually a dome or in some instances, tiny figures like the little Buddhas seen below, are placed delicately on the shell of the oyster or muscle or mollusk, rather than within the flesh, as with most spherical pearls. The irritation acts exactly the same as that of the creation of solid pearl. The intruder soon gathers nacre in many layers, (pearl surface). The created nacre looks like a blister. The blisters are painstakingly removed and again delicately placed over a resin support. This cultured pearl dome or Buddha is then backed with a mother of pearl sheath. Voila the Mabe is BORN!
Amounts or weight of sterling silver used in any one pearl earring can shed a light on the amount being asked, for the item, yet in these hard economic times, “the value for money” is getting the “genuine article” for the smallest amount possible. Hard on makers and designers but great for the consumer. Using less and getting more is the mantra for makers now. Compare the thinness or the thickness of the hook of the earring alone, this could (previously) show immediately the generosity of the maker for their products. A good close up picture for the item says it all. Nothing to hide there. A sterling silver and pearl earring can contain a very thin hook (usually with “imported” items) yet still be sterling silver and still have a high price tag. Yet a designer pearl earring from a small jewellery operator can be far more generous and precious and have much more sterling silver “weight” to their pearl and sterling silver earring. The battle continues for quality over cheap and nasty, yet price seems to be the winner.
The missing ingredient for pearl earring purchasers on line is that it is not tangible, and it must solely rely on images to sell the product. Pearls and indeed all jewellery has always been a “touchy- feely” thing, no more, now there is eBay. When you can see great quality from the outset with heavier weights of silver content in each design, then there you will have a winning combination. Here are examples of designer jewellery pearl earrings with sterling silver (using very generous weights of sterling silver and pearl in their products and are starting at remarkably low prices, as they must compete with the imports and copies.
Wanting some gorgeous Julleen designer earrings for incredible prices? visit us on Ebay! We are clearing some discontinued earrings that are pretty lovely, for amazing starting bids to get you in the mood.We now offer two ways of postage. Our Star treatment with Julleen packaging and via Express Post with tracking for $15 or regular no fuss post for $3 in a plain padded envelope. If that doesn’t get you happy to shop we don’t know what will. See you there! (top one below sold out!)
It amazing, even though we say “start your own trends and be original” there is no better feeling than having been copied. They say it’s the best form of flattery. Three years ago we began making a lemon quartz cocktail ring. So popular that we sold out in no time. We saw loads of cheap and nasty copies out there however they could not match the quality of workmanship and design that we do at Julleen. Finally after many requests, this Summer we created even more fruity, and super cool colours for a broader choice. Here they are all grouped together. These are worn on the forefinger (or index finger) and look beautiful any time any where.
Julleen Pearl Jewellery often donates to charitable causes. May 25th 2012, there was a fundraising event held at the Bayswater, by Sera Taylor. The Bayswater is one of Perth’s oldest and most popular hotel venues. Julleen particpated by donating some pearl jewellery for the night and raised a sizeable sum for the evening we are very pleased to say.
Hello all to all admirers of Julleen Pearl Jewellery designs….I finally created a separate ID on Facebook for My Bridal Jewellery! As you may or may not know My Bridal Jewellery is an off shoot of Julleen, created specifically for the bridal community. Please go and check this out and become a fan.
Numbers are building slowly for this fresh fan page and we would love everyone’s help to make this new My Bridal Jewellery facebook profile ..a success..and a good place to express your ideas and gain some too. Let’s make this new project spectacular! If you’ve always wanted to meet me and have a chat about your loves and hates regarding jewellery for brides these days…I am hoping it will become a forum for you!
Speaking on a personal note.. this will give me an idea as to what Brides really want today for their own or a friend’s wedding. Be it for themselves, bridesmaids, Mum of the bride or Mum of the groom and for all relatives in the wedding party who will be in pictures of the wedding ceremony, I must say this again….if you want your wedding photos to be beautiful and current still ..even 20 years into the future….and remain something to be proud of…to show your children and grandchildren later in life…then wear good quality pearl jewellery (on your wedding day).
Classical beauty and refinement (look at all royal weddings) is what should be your choice ..and you just will not go wrong.
Pearls for a wedding day….just perfect. Be remembered by starting a trend and not following the masses. Be unique, wear real pearl jewellery and ensure your wedding photos never date.
When looking for good jewellery that doesn’t cost the earth then we are the jewellery house to chose for your wedding day.We definitely go that extra bit further to create heavenly pearl jewellery designs for all you brides out there…. that will last a life time.
Although mostly online sales are how we market Julleen pearl jewellery..we do have some very rare outlets in Perth Mariko in South Perth and Margaret River at Woody Nook Winery and in Sydney at the two Sarissa Designs silk specialty boutiques. Most of our lovely and original pieces can always be purchased directly from our very unique online jewellery stores.
We like style and glamour and create pieces that are classical with that little touch of the dramatic. We know you appreciate this….and that’s why you support the Julleen label that is now been in production for 12 years. Come join us and start a conversation with us. We would really love to hear from you.
We have also created a Julleen channel on you tube and would love you to join us and see the growing library there..which is created for you. See you there!
Last night I was delighted to meet the honourable Julie Bishop MP – Electoral Division of Curtin (WA) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition of the liberal party of Australia. I found her to be a warm and generous woman who has a wonderful smile and is herself, a confessed lover of pearls. She was an honoured guest where my mother was also a guest speaker and after taking a picture of her with my mother and seeing how approachable she was, I handed her a Julleen card, which she took in hand immediately, noticing we are based in South Perth, and when she asked exactly where we were situated she was delighted to hear she could view them at her own pace on the Julleen websites and smiled when she said how she also adored pearls. Let’s hope that all of Canberra will be alerted that Julleen Pearl Jewellery Designs is here to stay!