Pearls have made their way back to take center stage in mainstream fashion and we couldn't be happier. Since our inception, pearls have been integral to our designs and we are thrilled to see other designers using them in updated ways. We love the way they light up our skin, compliment any outfit and bring a natural beauty to the jewelry.
As a consumer, you have likely noticed the wide range of price points, colours and sizes available for pearl jewelry. Where do you start? How do you know which pearls are good quality? We are here to help you navigate the world of jewelry with our buyer's guide to pearls!
If after reading this article you still have questions, please email your questions to email@example.com. We will be sure to add the information here for others to read!
We use a variety of pearls in our statement jewelry, but we most often reach for freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystal pearls. We consider both types of pearls to be of the highest quality within a reasonable price point, and are perfectly suited to making a statement!
You will never see plastic or glass centered manmade pearls in our jewelry. While they are significantly cheaper, the quality of the "pearl" matches the price point.
Freshwater pearls, natural or cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) around some type of irritant inside its shell. In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water. In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted (by man) into the mollusk to start the process.
Freshwater pearls are grown in freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds.
At Carolily, we use both natural and cultured freshwater pearls, depending on the statement necklace we are creating. Ethically sourced natural pearls can be harder to come by, making them more expensive than cultured pearls.
Freshwater pearls offer a wider variety of shapes, sizes and colours than any other pearl. While perfectly round pearls are often coveted, other variations include potato-shaped and stick pearls, rice-shaped and button pearls, coin-shaped and drop pearls, and off-round.
In terms of colour, freshwater pearls can range from a traditional white through a pastel spectrum, and everything in between. We often work with freshwater pearls that are off white, pale pink and light grey.
The size of a freshwater pearl can range anywhere between 1mm and 15mm, making them a wonderfully diverse pearl to work into a statement necklace. The possibilities are endless!
We love freshwater pearls for their brilliant luster and nod to the past. We incorporate them into our statement necklaces whenever possible because they add such a natural sensuality that is hard to beat.
Unlike freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystal pearls are not made in a mollusk. They are manmade, considered the highest quality imitation pearl and use a Swarovski crystal at the center. Other imitation pearls use a plastic or glass bead for the center.
Swarovski crystal pearls are perfect for making a dramatic statement! The variety of sizes and colours allows for fanciful, bright designs.
After all that is said, which pearls reign supreme? It depends on you and what you value! There is no right answer.
Freshwater pearls are ideal for you if...
Swarovski crystal pearls are ideal if...
In our designs, we use the type of pearl that best suits the piece of jewelry. Sometimes that is freshwater pearls, sometimes it is Swarovski crystal pearls and sometimes it is both! There is no right or wrong answer when it comes down to the type of pearl you prefer.
If you have a very specific design in mind that you don't see available, we would be delighted to create a custom pearl necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings for you! Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation.
You can read more about our custom jewelry process HERE.
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Through the ages, pearls have been synonymous with luxury, beauty and prestige. Nowadays, jewelry houses, such as ours, are able to offer stunning pearl jewelry at an attainable price point and in a wide variety of styles.
Pearls have been at the forefront of our designs since our inception and for good reason. If you have been wondering where to purchase real pearl jewelry, you have come to the right place!