Loading... Please wait...


The Showcase Guide to the World of Pearls

Posted by

The pearl is one of the ocean's rarest treasures. Since ancient times natural pearls have been used as jewellery and ornaments and the oldest known pearl necklace is more than 4,000 years old.

Pearls were often regarded as having a mystical quality and a life of their own because of their unique glow that seems to radiate from their very centre. In Roman times women would take pearls to bed in the belief that they would assist them to have pleasant dreams.

So what exactly is a natural pearl?

It is an accident of nature. A natural pearl is produced when a minute foreign object, perhaps a tiny living sea creature, becomes stuck inside the shell and tissue of an oyster. When the oyster cannot get rid of the "irritant" it eases the discomfort by coating it in "nacre". Nacre is made up of microscopic crystals; each crystal perfectly aligned with the others so that it reflects light to produce a glow of light and colour.

The pearl is built up of layer upon layer of nacre. The more layers, the more lustrous the pearl. However, because natural pearls are so rare, they are expensive which is why "Cultured Pearls" are a more affordable option.

Cultured Pearls - Giving nature a helping hand.

Most pearls sold today are cultured pearls. These are pearls that are made the same way as natural pearls in so far as an oyster coats an "irritant" with nacre. However the "irritant" does not find its way inside the oyster by accident. This "irritant" that is implanted is actually shell bead in salt water cultured pearls, or, in the case of reshwater cultured pearls, a small piece of tissue, which is implanted by a technician. These techologists then supervise the process so that the oyster produces the best pearl possible by ensuring it has the food it requires and that the water temperature remains constant and free of pollutants. Because there are a larger number of cultured pearls available than natural pearls, it is easier to match pearls that are much the same size and shape. So a necklace of cultured pearls will be more even in shape and colour than one made up of natural pearls.

Imitation Pearls are exactly that.

They are not real pearls. Both natural and cultured pearls are produced by an oyster, however imitation pearls are man-made. A round glass or plastic bead is simply coated in a pearly substance. The best way to tell if a pearl is imitation or not is to place it directly alongside a real one and compare the lustre. The real pearl will have a depth of lustre that the imitation cannot match. An imitation pearl generally will have a surface shine but no inner glow. Also look in the shaded area, in the real pearl you will see a clearly defined reflection, in the imitation pearl you won't.

Types of Pearls


Grown in pearl saltwater oysters off the coast of Japan and are one of the most familiar types of cultured pearls. They have a lovely orient and warm colour and rarely reach more than 9mm in size.


Large half-round cultured pearls that grow against the inside shells of oysters rather than within the body. Because of their hemispherical shape are less expensive than regular round cultured pearls. They are usually mounted in earrings, rings and brooches.


These are pearls that are cultivated in mussels rather than oysters and are found in freshwater lakes and rivers. Generally they have an elongated shape and a milky translucent appearance.


Small, irregular shaped seedless pearls that form naturally in many cultured pearl oysters.

South Sea Pearls


Rare and valuable large cultured pearls (10mm and larger) grown in the warm waters off the Australian coast. Found in a variety of colours including white, silver, gold and rose.


Lare cultured pearls (8mm and larger) slightly smaller and creamier than their Australian counterparts.


Large gray to black cultured pearls (typically 8mm-14mm) with overtones of reds, blues and greens.

How to care for your Pearls.

Cultured pearls are precious gems and need to be treated as such.

- When storing them in a purse or jewel box place them in a soft gem bag or wrap them in a silk cloth to protect them from being scratched by harder stones, metal edges or other jewellery.

- Don't wear pearls in the shower, in the swimming pool or while playing sport.

- Put your pearls on after you have applied your cosmetics, hairspray and perfume.

- To help prevent discolouration wipe them frequently with a damp, clean cloth.

- Never clean pearls with a harsh detergent or jewellery cleaner. A drop of mild detergent in warm water should be all you need.

- Restring pearl necklaces at least once every two years to keep your jewellery looking its best and to keep your pearls secure. We can assist you with this process.

Uniquely Australian... Dreamtime Australian Diamonds - Argyle Diamond Collection

Remarkably beautiful and naturally captivating, Dreamtime Australian Diamonds originate from the world renowned Argyle Diamond Mine, located in a remote corner of Northwest Australia.Every Dreamtime Diamond is unique and resonates with the Australian landscape, its stories and legends. Every diamond is tracked so you can be assured your Dreamtime jewellery contains Australian diamonds that are [...]

Read More »

BLUEFIRE DIAMONDS - Diamonds with Greater Brilliance

LIGHT ATTRACTS, BRILLIANCE CAPTIVATESIt is our passion to present to you diamonds of unparalleled brilliance. To achieve this we not only select diamonds from the quality end of the colour and clarity scale, we also use advanced technology to cut our diamonds with 144 facets rather than 58. This ensures a superlative brilliance that can [...]

Read More »