My previous thoughts on pearls have always been somewhere along these lines: Ugh. Too fancy. Too "adult" (what does this even mean?!). They're not even a real gemstone. No, thank you.
Well, that last part IS true! But it's also how my initial interest in pearls was piqued. If you've read my "about me" section on this site, you'll know that I started this business to make jewelry that outwardly express individualism and a unique personality without compromising your professionalism. And the way I perceived it, pearls were just too "main-stream" or "upper crust" to be part of an alternative design.
The first thing that happened was I read Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden and I began to see the error of my ways. It's a beautiful, organic process to create a pearl that takes time and certain conditions, reminding me of the specific conditions and time passage needed for gemstones to form. They are also just as one-of-a-kind as each gemstone. Even more so, because you can cut several gems from a single deposit, but each mollusk only produces a single pearl at a time.
(I get no money from this recommendation, I just truly love the book!)
The basic process goes like this - a mollusk discovers an irritant in their shell. This bothersome object could be a grain of sand that a powerful wave pushed inside, or it could be from man inserting an object. The shellfish then starts coating the intrusive entity with something called "nacre". Nacre is a composite made mostly of aragonite that is strong and iridescent. The mollusk then repeats this, thousands of times, until the full formation of the pearl. Sort of like making a rubber band ball; each layer makes the ball grow in size. For me, the most mind blowing part is that it takes TWO TO FOUR YEARS for the pearl to form. That's a big commitment and a long time to wait!
(image from Dude I Want That)
All of this pearl knowledge being dropped had me thinking a lot about them in general, and my new love for these unique commodities was solidified when a favorite gemstone supplier one day showed up on instagram with these:
I hadn't thought about using a specifically shaped irritant for the pearl to form around!! I was so inspired. Once I was reassured that this process doesn't usually harm the mollusk (in fact, it's beneficial for the supplier to keep them in good health after each pearl so they can produce again) I knew I had to start designing with pearls.
I used both small round and oblong shaped pearls as well as a few of these fascinating beauties for the Koi Collection, which you all loved, further proving that pearls are AWESOME!
(to shop the Koi Collection, Click Here)
And that's my pearl story! There are still a few one-of-a-kind pieces available using those super cool pearl finger pendants, as well as pieces just full of pearls in our regular, available all the time, Koi Collection.
I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts about pearls, the pearl process, and when you like to wear them!