Stunning Simplicity: Why You Should Own a Pair of Pearl Studs

own pearl studs

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Pearls are one of the most versatile and varied gemstones available anywhere. They cover nearly every color imaginable, from white and cream and rose to gold, black and dark green. They come from oceans and rivers around the world, their color and size variations due to the preferences of Mother Nature and the types of oysters that bear each pearl. While traditionally envisioned as small and round, pearls actually come in a number of shapes and sizes, giving admirers around the world a variety of pearl options from which to choose.

Just as pearls come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, the jewelry which can be created from these gemstones is just as varied. Pearls are incorporated into matching, or uniform strands, in which the same color and size of pearl is used to create an entire necklace. Or, you can find multicolor strands, in which multiple colors of pearls are used, or options in which the size of pearl uses changes along the string. There are also drop and tincup options, in which the entirety of the strand is not covered with pearls – instead, a single pearl is used as a centerpiece for the necklace (drop jewelry), or a series of pearls are placed at intervals along the necklace (tin cup style). And those are just the options for necklaces! Pearls are also made into bracelets, rings, and earrings, all of which come in a variety of styles to suit any wearer and skin tone.

With all of the incredible earring options available, choosing to go with a pair of simple pearl studs might seem like an overly-safe choice. And it is true that pearl studs may not be the loudest or most eye-catching pieces of jewelry out there. But pearl studs have been a popular jewelry item for generations, and for good reason.

As you consider buying a simple pair of studs, consider the following:

  1. Pearl studs go with everything. While jewelry is supposed to add some excitement to your wardrobe, you don’t always have the time or energy to sift through your earring collections to find something that won’t clash with or overpower your outfit. A simple pair of pearl studs are certain to flatter your face and provide a wonderful accompaniment to any ensemble. They also look great with any face shape or hairstyle, making them a wonderful, universally-flattering option.
  1. Your pearl studs can become your signature jewelry piece. A “signature” piece of jewelry is one which you can wear every day, and for which you become “known for” wearing. While variety is the spice of life, there is a great comfort in having a singular pair of jewelry that your loved ones recognize as being yours, and which you can pass along to future generations. Pearl studs are a great option as a signature piece, and one which can be worn and re-worn frequently even if you are in the process of building a larger jewelry wardrobe.
  1. Pearl studs are an inexpensive investment. For all of the benefits of owning a pair of pearl earrings, pearl studs are very reasonably priced. Because their costs are not often prohibitive, you can afford to add to your wardrobe of pearl studs over time. And with a number of options available – including freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, South Sea and Golden Pearls – you can choose from a variety of pearl colors and sizes.

Jewelry Focus: Tin Cup Pearls and Pearls for Men

Image Credit: tahiti ©

Image Credit: tahiti ©

Let’s take a look at two types of pearl jewelry with which many customers are less familiar: Tin Cup Jewelry, and Pearl Jewelry Selections for Men:

Tin Cup Pearl Jewelry

Also known as “station necklaces,” tin cup pearl necklaces feature a signature style: pearls which have been set at evenly-spaced intervals along a chain which is usually composed of small chain-looking links. While pearls have been popular for centuries, this jewelry style is relatively new, with its name coming from a 1990s film starring Rene Russo and Kevin Costner. (In case you were wondering whether a single necklace from a single film can inspire an entire line of jewelry, the answer, obviously, is “Yes.”)

Tin cup jewelry is available as necklaces, bracelets or drop earrings. The layout of the gemstones is simple, but the effect is anything but. You can wear tin cup pearl jewelry with everything from a casual sweater and jeans to the most formal of attire. Best of all, tin cup jewelry comes in a variety of options, using all pearl types, from Tahitians to Akoyas. And varied pearl types means varied pearl colors and hues. You can choose chains of silver, gold and white gold, and can even make your selection from a variety of chain link sizes, including some large enough to feature their own diamonds. And the pearls themselves can either be placed along the chain, or can be hanging from the chain, or “dangling,” resulting in an entirely different look.

If you’re looking for pearl jewelry but want something unique – and who doesn’t? – tin cup jewelry is a wonderful choice. Whether for formal attire or a casual look, tin cup jewelry will make you look great.

Pearls For Men

Shoppers are sometimes surprised to see jewelry options for men available on The Pearl Source and other pearl jewelry websites. But the truth is that men’s jewelry has been in fashion for centuries. From nobles to royalty, men have historically been the ones in power, and with power came the funds to afford such pricey amenities as pearls. And with unisex and androgynous looks gracing everything from runways to magazine covers to even the average city street, pearl jewelry for men is seeing a recent rise in popularity.

The key to unisex pearl jewelry is simplicity. Most men’s pearl jewelry features a leather string as its base, which may or may not feature an adjustable length. A single pearl, set by two knots, is the jewelry’s defining feature, making for an attractive, yet not overly-feminine, look. Necklaces and bracelets are the most popular options in this category. They can be worn on their own or combined with other jewelry for a stronger statement.

Unisex pearl jewelry looks great with a simple dress shirt and slacks or a casual polo. You can even wear it on its own at the beach (frequently paired with swimwear, of course). But remember that like all pearls, the gemstones in men’s jewelry require special care in order to ensure that they will last. Saltwater and other elements can be rough on pearls, so plan accordingly.

Simple pearl jewelry is not limited to men’s fashion. Many women find this unisex look very flattering, and choose the leather strand necklace as a perfect accessory when searching for a more casual look. So if you are looking for something unique, whether for a man or a woman, make the choice that people all around the world have been making for centuries: Choose pearls.

Everything you need to know about pearls BEFORE you make a purchase

everything you need to know about buying pearls

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Most people can tell you that pearls come from the sea. Beyond that, though, an unfortunate number of people–even those who are interested in purchasing pearls–cannot tell you how they are formed, and/or what types of pearls are available and the differences between them. In fact, a relatively low number of people even realize that pearls come in shapes other than round or colors other than white and cream. Educating yourself about pearl origins and types is more than an interesting activity–it will make you a better buyer. If you know what it is that you are purchasing and the factors that affect its value, you can better navigate the waters of the pearl-buyer’s market and ensure that you are getting the best deal for your money.

Here is what you need to know about pearls, as well as why and how you should use this information when purchasing a pearl:

How pearls are formed – and why this information is relevant to your purchase

how are pearls formed

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Pearls are a prime example of the beauty and magic of Mother Nature. They are the by-product of an incredible defense mechanism exhibited by oysters and other mollusks. The insides of these creatures are very soft and are easily injured by the smallest rocks and pieces of shell that happen to drift inside. When one of these irritants makes its way inside an oyster, the oyster produces a milky substance called nacre, which it then uses to insulate its tender meat from the rough texture of the rock or piece of sand. The oyster wraps the irritant in this nacre and rolls it around, over and over, until a thick layer of protection is built. The layers of nacre, together with the irritant they encapsulate, form what becomes a pearl.

While lovely, this creation story is more than an interesting fact about nature. Knowing that this is how pearls are formed helps you understand why various components of pearls are the way that they are. For example, the type and texture of the nacre produced by the pearl causes the varieties in color and reflectivity (or luster) of pearls. Also, it will now make sense why oysters that are allowed to spend more time creating their pearls end up producing pearls with thicker–and therefore more resilient–nacre. You can now see why pearls come in a variety of shapes; because they are not man- or machine-made, they attain the unique properties that Mother Nature assigns to them during the formation process. Like everything that is made naturally, pearl creation is not an exact science.

How humans changed the pearl production process, making them affordable

The very fact that you are now able to purchase pearls at all is due to the fact that Man is an impatient creature. When early fishermen discovered pearls (likely not long after humans first appeared on this planet), the pearls were, of course, a rare find. And rare means expensive. This is why for centuries pearl ownership was limited to royalty and the elite members of society. Everyday people simply could not afford them. This explains the incorporation of pearls into jewelry, crowns, clothing, and rare pieces of art all over the world. Pearls were a symbol of nobility, and the thought of anyone of lower social status being able to possess them was laughable–even offensive. Given the insatiable market for pearls and man’s ingenuity, the seeds for a new market were sown.

Generally speaking, humans cannot “force” an oyster to make a pearl. But one process that we can control is the irritant which gets into the oyster’s shell and sparks the pearl-creation process. Humans have now inserted themselves into this process, creating farms at which they maintain oysters and other mollusks and harvest pearls for sale on the open market. The pearl farmer gently opens the oyster and introduces a tiny irritant into its shell, then returns it to the water. He waits an allotted amount of time before retrieving the oyster from the water, recovering the pearl inside. Do this a couple thousand times, and you will see how man’s involvement completely changed the face of the pearl industry. While the pearls are still naturally made, and are still as beautiful as ever, there are (comparatively) so many more of them available for sale to the public. And this is why you, as a (presumably) non-royal person, are able to purchase pearls for relatively inexpensive prices.

What this information means for you

woman wearing pearls

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First, it helps explain part of the reasons why pearls are a wise purchase. Pearls have been adored and sought after by men and women ever since they were first pulled from the sea. From their role as the gemstone of royalty to their inclusion on red carpets across the world today, the pearl’s popularity has never waned.

More importantly, understanding the development of the pearl explains why they are classified as a renewable resource. With pearls, there is no digging into the earth or stripping of the world’s surfaces. Pearls come from a living creature–the only gemstone in the world to be formed in such a manner. Therefore, you can purchase pearls without worrying about contributing to the destruction of the environment.

Further, pearls not only do not harm the earth–pearl farming can actually improve the environment. The reason behind this is admittedly a self-serving one. Oysters need healthy environments in order to create healthy pearls. So, if a pearl farmer does not do his best to preserve the environment in which he maintains his oysters, his pearl crop will be worthless. That is a big reason why pearl farmers and vendors around the world have advocated for measures which protect our waters–if the waters become or stay polluted, then their businesses will inevitably fail. By supporting pearl farming, you are supporting an industry that benefits aquatic environments around the world.

Finally, understanding the way that pearls are created and harvested around the world helps to explain why they are such precious gifts. Unlike diamonds, pearls are soft, and their nacre is susceptible to the elements. While you might be able to toss other pieces into a jewelry box and forget about them, pearls require special care to preserve their shape and to prevent them from being chipped or broken. This is important information to know because beautiful gemstones–which pearls most certainly are–should be passed on through generations. This requires taking proper care of them. Now that you know what goes into the creation and growth of a pearl, the “caretaking” suggestions on this and other pearl expert sources should make more sense.

Those caretaking suggestions focus on one primary rule–pearls should be the last things you put on and the first things that you take off. Pearls should not be present when applying cosmetics, spraying perfume, etc. The wearer should be completely ready to walk out the door before adorning him or herself with pearls. And at the end of the day, pearls should come off first in order to prevent them from being knocked against one another (which can cause chipping) or accidentally broken against a zipper, for example. Place pearls in a soft-lined box and never use harsh chemicals to clean them (or use harsh chemicals to clean anything while wearing pearls, actually).

Pearl definitions

pearl types and pearl definitions

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Now that you know how pearls are formed, you can start to understand why and how various types, sizes, and colors of pearls exist. To help you understand more about the various pearl classifications, here is some additional information:

Natural pearls – Natural pearls are made 100% by nature. This refers to the process before humans began pearl farming. True, natural pearls are nearly nonexistent on today’s market.

Cultured pearls – These are the pearls grown with the assistance of pearl farmers. Cultured pearls make up more than 99% of today’s market. They are identical to natural pearls in virtually every way.

Imitation pearls – Contrary to popular belief, cultured pearls are NOT imitation pearls. Cultured pearls are created by oysters and mussels, just like natural pearls. They are formed with an irritant at the center and a nacre coating, just like natural pearls. Imitation pearls, on the other hand, are not pearls at all. They do not come from the sea, and they are not grown inside living creatures. They are usually composed of glass or plastic, as opposed to nacre. No reputable jewelry vendor or manufacturer would ever sell imitation pearls without clearly presenting them as such to potential buyers.

Freshwater pearls – Freshwater pearls are exactly what they sound like: pearls formed in fresh water sources as opposed to being formed in the ocean. Freshwater pearls are created by mollusks, while pearls formed in the ocean come from oysters. Both creatures create pearls as part of their natural self-protection processes.

Akoya pearls – Akoya pearls are a saltwater pearl named after the type of oyster which produces them (called, unsurprisingly, the Akoya oyster). Most Akoyas come from Japanese pearl farms, and Akoyas are the most popular type of pearl around the world. Akoyas were the first type of pearl to be cultured, which speaks to this gemstone’s popularity and the world’s desire to possess it. When you think of the classic, round, white pearl, you are likely envisioning an Akoya.

South Sea pearls – South Sea pearls are the true treasures of the pearl world. They come from the Pinctada maxima oyster, and they are much larger and more lustrous than other pearl varietals. Because larger pearls take longer to form, fewer South Sea crops can be harvested in the amount of time spent cultivating other types of oysters, making South Sea pearls among the most valuable (and most expensive) in the world.

Tahitian pearls – Also known as black pearls, Tahitian pearls are formed by the black-lipped oyster Pinctada margaritifera. They derive their name from the fact that they are found primarily around the islands of French Polynesia and Tahiti. Tahitian pearls are most often a dark green color which can appear black (hence, their common name).

Which type of pearl is best?

There is, of course, no correct answer to this question. Pearls are as varied as pearl wearers themselves. In addition to coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, the pearls themselves can be incorporated into a number of jewelry types which display their attributes in a number of ways. Pearl strands, for example, are notable due to their incorporation of a number of pearls which match each other in color, size, and shape (unless, of course, you choose a strand which incorporates different colors of pearls–a mixture which can be created to a beautiful effect). Pendants, on the other hand, are a great way to display a single or small number of pearls in order to create a central focal point. In addition to necklaces, pearls are made into earrings, bracelets, rings, and basically any other type of jewelry on the market. There is quite literally an endless number of different ways and types of pearls that can be incorporated into jewelry from which you can choose. The type of pearl which will suit you best is a question only you can answer.


Pearls have been, and continue to be, loved by people all over the world. For example, they are a popular choice among brides and other members of wedding parties and have recently seen a rise in popularity for incorporation into engagement rings. Educating yourself about the ways that pearls are made, sold, and cared for puts you in the best position possible for beginning your journey into the world of pearl ownership.


Could India be the new player on the world’s pearl scene?


Image Credit: auborddulac ©

Over 99% of the pearls sold on today’s market are cultured pearls, and the world’s top cultured pearl producers–Japan, Australia, and China–have become established due to their ability to create and sustain successful pearl farms and corresponding industries. But reports show that a new country may be seeking to become a major market in the world’s pearl-producing arena: India.

India currently spends billions each year importing pearls from industry giants such as China and Japan. This exportation of funds from the country has inspired the government to look into internal production options, especially in the country’s inland lakes, where regulation is more easily implemented

The pearl industry would not be new to India. Pearls have been produced in some of India’s Gulf regions, as well as on a few of the interior lakes, most recently in the early 1990s. However, production has been limited and had previously enjoyed little support from the Indian government or the international pearl industry. However, with new financial and governmental support, and given the size of the country’s water sources and the availability of a sizeable workforce, India could soon be among the world’s major pearl producers.

What does this mean for pearl lovers? While any startup pearl industry will take some time to cultivate and grow before it will have a significant impact on the global market, purchasers could one day find themselves with a new type of pearl to choose from. Pearl importers and vendors are surely wishing India the best of luck and hoping to see new Indian pearls in the near future.

Pearls: The Perfect “Just Because” Purchase

couple buying pearls

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As the dog days of summer continue and everyone does their best to survive the heat, you may sometimes find yourself looking for an excuse to add a little excitement to your life. The good news is that a small surprise can often go a long way. And what could be a better surprise than a gift of pearl jewelry, “just because” you felt like doing something nice?

A pearl jewelry gift does not have to be expensive to be meaningful. A simple pair of stud earrings or even a pendant or ring are all wonderful choices that won’t break the bank but are sure to be appreciated. Plus, the fact that you’re giving a gift without the premise of a holiday or other occasion will make it even more special. Knowing just how happy those pearls are going to make that special person in your life can truly be a great experience for the purchaser as well.

Speaking of making a pearl purchase “just because,” why not shop for something just for yourself? There is truly no reason to wait for someone else to buy you the perfect gift when you know better than anyone else how much you deserve to be pampered!

So whether it’s for yourself or someone else, consider giving the gift of pearls this non-holiday. Whether for your mother, sister, or significant other, everyone loves a gift of pearls–especially one they’re not anticipating. Because sometimes the gifts which are surprises are the best gifts of all.

Purchasing Pearls: How to get the most for your money

Get the most out of your pearls

Everyone likes to get a good deal, and this is especially true when making jewelry purchases. The more you can get for your money, the better. When looking to invest in a piece of pearl jewelry, the temptation to find something cheap can be powerful; but while you never want to throw money away, you also don’t want to be swindled by an unscrupulous seller. Here are some suggestions as to how to get the most for your pearl-buying dollar:

  1. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Given the introduction of cultured pearls onto the world markets, pearls are nowhere near as expensive as they once were. Still, any quality piece of pearl jewelry is going to be an investment. Any “incredible-sounding” price should set off some alarm bells in your mind. You could be buying weak, chipped, or broken pieces, or even worse, inauthentic pearls.

  1. Choose versatile pieces.

The best way to get the most for your money when buying pearls is to choose pieces that can be worn multiple times in a variety of settings. Choose jewelry which suits your wearer, meaning that you should not invest in something “flashy” if it is unlikely to be worn that often. Fortunately, most pearl items look great with a variety of wardrobe choices, making them a safer investment than most other gemstones.

  1. Go with a reputable seller.

When purchasing pearls, choose a seller you can trust. Read reviews and make sure that there is a customer service team in place which can help with any issues you may have. As with any jewelry purchase, it is better to be safe than sorry; so spend some time choosing a reputable seller before handing over your money.

Transitioning Your Pearls from Summer to Fall


summer to fall pearls

As the summer heat surrounds us, it is easy to forget that fall is just around the corner. But soon enough the temperatures will begin to drop, and sundresses will give way to sweaters. That is why now is a great time to start preparing for your fall and winter jewelry choices. The good news is that pearls make a wonderful choice year-round.

A simple pearl strand, for example, is always in style. The same gemstones that look gorgeous against bare skin also flatter a higher neckline, such as with a button-up blouse; and pearl rings, of course, make a flawless transition between seasons. Even layered strands look great year-round, whether as the focus above a halter dress or as a contrast with a dark turtleneck.

The trick to keeping your pearls useful year-round is to step outside of your comfort zone. If you have jewelry that you thought was only wearable in the summer–a pair of earrings, for example, that you were using to offset a lower neckline–experiment with adding them to a simple fall ensemble and see if you like the look. You may just need to try out a few looks before finding something that you like. The truth is that there truly are no pearl pieces which only flatter the wearer during one season or with only one type of style. If you spend a little time analyzing your wardrobe and trying new combinations, you are sure to find a way to enjoy wearing your pearls this fall.

With pearls, the possibilities are endless.

Pearl engagement rings: More than just a trend



Making the decision to propose is one of the most stressful events in someone’s life. Even if you’re certain that you’ve found the right person (and if you’re at this stage then you should be), deciding when, where, and how to propose can be extremely nerve-wracking. Even with all of these concerns aside, one of the biggest concerns still has to be addressed: the ring.

Engagement rings come with various gemstones and in many metals and styles, but for decades the diamond has been the stone of choice. But recently, with questionable mining practices and concerns over the “blood diamond” industry coming to light, societal preferences for diamonds have started to wane. Those looking for earth-friendly alternatives have turned to the pearl as the centerpiece for their engagement and wedding rings.

While styles change over time, pearl jewelry has been popular for centuries. From necklaces to bracelets to rings and everything in between, the pearl is a versatile and beautiful alternative to the diamond. Since they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, there is a perfect pearl engagement for every wearer. And with a pearl, you can be confident that your choice will be a lifelong symbol of your preference and love for jewels which support environmentally-friendly practices.

Pearls are, of course, different from diamonds, and therefore require a higher degree of care. Pearls are much softer than diamonds and can be more prone to damage, especially by acidic materials. Therefore, when you choose a pearl engagement ring, make sure to take the time to ensure that your purchase will last a lifetime by taking the proper measures to keep your treasure flawless.

Why you should Invest in a Pearl Pendant

Investing in Pearl Pendant - Fresh Water Hope

With all of the various types of pearl jewelry available on the market today, choosing just one can be a challenge. While women and men have adorned their necks with pearls for centuries, the pearl strand is usually the most popular choice; while pearl strands are popular for good reason, the pearl pendant is a wonderful–though often overlooked–option.

For those who are new to the world of pearl jewelry, here is some basic information about necklaces: pearl strands incorporate pearls along a long string, with pearls making up the entirety of the necklace itself. Pendants, on the other hand, are usually made of gold, sterling silver, or platinum and feature a pearl (or a pearl combined with other gemstones) as a single centerpiece.

The effect of a pearl pendant is completely different than that of a strand necklace. Given the continuity in the beading of a strand, the eye tends to balance out along the length of the necklace. But with a pendant, the eye’s focus is on the single pearl piece itself. The decorative part of the pendant necklace tends to rest along the center of the wearer’s chest between the collarbones, making the result quite striking with a number of different necklines.

The versatility of the pearl is one of its strongest attributes. Unsurprisingly, this lovely gemstone is breathtaking both as part of a strand or as the centerpiece of a pendant–as well as when it is incorporated in any number of other jewelry styles. But it is always a good idea to step outside of your comfort zone to see what else is available in terms of accessories. When you’re shopping for pearls, don’t forget to take a look at the incredible pendant options available to you today.

What Are Hanadama Pearls?


Even if you consider yourself well-educated when it comes to the pearl market, you may sometimes see a word that you don’t recognize: Hanadama. The Hanadama is a pearl classification which designates the very best of the best when it comes to Japanese Akoya pearls. Choosing a Hanadama pearl necklace is a way to guarantee that you are buying the finest Japanese Akoya pearls on the market.

Unsurprisingly, Hanadama pearls are very rare. Only the top 0.1% of each year’s pearl harvest will receive this coveted designation. In order to be considered a Hanadama pearl, the luster and nacre of a pearl are closely examined. They have a mirror-like surface, with a bright, slightly rose-colored luster accumulated via the numerous layers of nacre that built up while the pearl was still in the shell. As a result, Hanadama pearls have an exceptionally thick nacre as compared to traditional Akoyas.

While Hanadama pearls are the “cream of the crop” when it comes to Japanese Akoyas, this does not mean that Hanadama pearls are considered “perfect” or have surfaces which are completely flawless. Although Hanadamas are required to have surface blemishes of less than 5%, the truth is that no pearl is truly flawless. Pearls are gifts from nature, created inside the shells of living creatures. This makes each pearl unique, but outside the realm of true perfection. In fact, it is said that the only perfect pearl is an imitation pearl. But if you are looking for as close to flawless as possible, Hanadama pearls are the way to go.