Cultured pearls are real pearls, and real gems. Pearl culturing depends on clean water, so responsible pearl farmers work hard to protect the world's oceans and waterways.
Real pearls are organic, aquatic gems, the only gems born in the bodies of living creatures. These unique gems are made by special mollusks, and have been long-associated with female creativity, purity, and love. Please scroll down for more about the history of pearls and the culturing process.
Real pearls are among the softer gems, measuring 3.0-4.0 on the MOHS Scale of Hardness (diamonds are a 10). You may wear pearl jewelry every day with jeans, business clothes, and dress wear, but please put pearls on only after you have applied your lotions, perfumes, aftershaves, and hair styling products - the acids and chemicals found in these products may damage the pearl surface.
Pearl rings should be removed be before handwashing, and all pearl jewelry should be removed before showering, bathing, swimming, and sleeping. Please store your pearl jewelry in a gift box or a satin pouch, separate from other jewelry, to protect your pearls from scratches and wear.
Pearl jewelry may be gently wiped with a soft optical or jeweler's cloth after each use, and washed in clean, lukewarm water (or a gentle cleanser designed for pearls) as desired. Washed pearl strands should be allowed to air dry for 24 hours. Harsh cleansers and sonic cleaners will damage pearls, as will rolling them in salt or wood chips as a means of cleansing: If your pearls are heavily soiled, they should be taken to a reputable jeweler for professional cleaning.
-Should you wish to purchase the gentle, all-natural pearl cleanser pictured here (it will make your pearls glow like the sun) please visit: http://www.thepearldoctor.com/ at the link listed below.
-Should you wish additional factual information about pearls and pearl quality, please see our guide below.
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Here at www.tenderbeautypearls.com™, a BBBOnline Accredited business, our President Johanna Lolax personally chooses authentic pearl jewelry with your needs and tastes in mind. She buys directly from leading pearl farmers and suppliers, many with GIA certification, to bring you real pearls cultured in the bodies of special pearl-bearing mollusks.
That's how she can offer you the pearl quality and great prices you expect. An explanation of our pearl quality grading system, and more information about pearls, is next.
A note about pricing: Tender Beauty™ Pearls sells fine pearl jewelry at up to 80% off most retail jewelry store prices for pearl jewelry of comparable quality. All prices and retail values stated on this website were derived after extensive market research, and consultation with GIA-certified experts in pearl jewelry appraisal. Prices are subject to change.
Pearls are organic, aquatic gems that grow deep in the bodies of only 20 species of mollusks. Pearls are graded, valued, and sold according to seven value factors: size, shape, surface quality, nacre quality, color, luster, and matching. Nacre (NAY - kur) is the gem-quality material that forms a pearl, and it's thickness can determine the pearl's durability over time. Round traditionally is the most valued pearl shape, and a clean, highly lustrous surface is the most highly prized.
Tender Beauty™ BRAND QUALITY
Our premier freshwater pearl collection includes pure white Tender Beauty™ Brand cultured pearls, our signature line of the finest in Asian freshwater pearl jewelry. The cream of the cultured freshwater pearl crop, Tender Beauty™ brand pearls rival the very best saltwater pearls in luster and quality, at a fraction of the cost.
This is the highest grade of freshwater pearl jewelry available today. It represents the top 0.01% of the harvest.
This grade offers rare freshwater pearls that are nearly 100% nacre because they are grown using tissue implants, not the usual mother-of-pearl bead implants. Tender Beauty™ brand freshwater pearls are beautifully round, perfectly matched in strands and other jewelry sold here, and almost 100% flawless - even when magnified 10 times. Each pearl exhibits an extremely high, iridescent luster that rivals the very finest akoya saltwater pearls. The rainbow-like iridescent quality of these pearls, called "orient", rarely is seen in round pearls.
This grade of freshwater and saltwater pearl jewelry represents the top 1% of the harvest. The pearls are round with thick nacre and excellent luster. Their surfaces are 96% or more blemish-free, and in strands and other jewelry sold here, they are excellently matched.
This grade of freshwater and saltwater pearl jewelry represents the top 5% of the harvest. The pearls are round with thick nacre and excellent luster. Their surfaces are 90-95% or more blemish-free, and in strands and other jewelry sold here, they are excellently matched.
This grade of freshwater and saltwater pearl jewelry represents the top 20% of the harvest. The pearls are oval or near-round, with medium to thick nacre and very good luster. Their surfaces are 80-90% or more blemish-free, and in strands and other jewelry sold here, they are very well matched.
This grade of cultured freshwater and saltwater pearl jewelry represents the top 50% of the harvest, and are not sold at tenderbeautypearls.com. These pearls will be near-round, with nacre of medium thickness and good luster. Their surfaces will be lightly to moderately blemished, and their matching quality generally will be good.
This commercial grade of freshwater and saltwater pearl jewelry represents the lower 50% of the harvest. The pearls are near-round to off-round with poor quality (often thin) nacre, and a poor or chalky luster. Their surfaces are moderately to heavily blemished, and their matching quality is poor.
Pearls are the only real gems that are born in the bodies of living creatures. These unique, organic, aquatic gems are made by special mollusks, and have been long-associated with female creativity, purity, and love.
Pearls have been the focus of human dreams, desire, and passion for centuries. Their luster once captured the attention of Egypt's Queen Cleopatra, as well as Persian, English, and Spanish royalty throughout the ages. The Greeks, and many Asian nations, believed that pearls inspire both love and marital happiness.
While almost any shelled mollusk, such as a mussel, clam or oyster, can produce round, calcified beads, only 20 mollusk species in the world can create actual pearl gems. These special creatures make pearl gems when a bit of shell or a parasite (not sand) invades their shell and body. They cover the irritation with a pearl sac, then build concentric layers of highly-prized nacre (NAY - kur) around the invading material.
Nacre is a substance that incorporates iridescent organic material with a gem-quality, crystalline form of calcium carbonate that is called aragonite (a-RAG-oh-nite). Nacre gives pearls their special luster, and much of their value.
Natural gem-quality pearls once were found throughout the world's oceans and freshwater bodies of water, such as the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean, the Sea of Cortez off the coast of California, the Indian Ocean, Japanese and western Australian waters - even the lochs and rivers of Scotland! The quest for natural pearls, and the gleaming mother-of-pearl lined shells in which they were born, was so intense that by the late 19th century natural pearl beds were all but fished out, and pearl-bearing mollusks nearly extinct.
Pearl culturing pioneers came on the scene to save the pearl industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sophisticated methods of collecting and nurturing baby oysters and mussels until they could accept a mother-of-pearl bead with a donor mollusk tissue sample were developed. Round cultured pearls were created, and the stage was set for a new pearl farming industry to emerge. The industry now flourishes in the waters of Asia, French Polynesia, Western Australia, and the South Seas. Soon, entrepreneurs from Australia and Dubai will test the cool, clear waters of Antarctica with new pearl farms for the 21st century.
Natural pearls today are extremely rare, but still may be found and are sold on the market. Most real pearls sold now are cultured pearls, grown on pearl farms from oysters and mollusks gently nurtured with care and patience. tenderbeautypearls.com sells real cultured pearls, grown from mollusks on pearls farms and purchased from reputable pearl farmers and suppliers.
Pearls cannot be synthesized in a lab like diamonds and other mineral gems, but many imitation pearls are manufactured. Often they are glass beads dipped in an iridescent mixture of fish scales and glue that look similar to pearls, but they are not real pearls.
Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls, born in the bodies of the small, delicate akoya oyster. These pearls are cultured, usually with a mother-of-pearl bead and a bit of tissue from a donor mollusk. The oyster deposits layers of pearl gem (called nacre and pronounced NAY-kur) over the bead to create a real cultured pearl.
Once grown primarily in Japanese waters, these pearls now are grown in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese waters. Their natural colors tend to be white or cream with light pink or silver overtones, though natural bluish colors sometimes are seen. Some of the finest pearls in the world come from this oyster.
Freshwater pearls primarily come from rivers, lakes, ponds and streams in Asia, but some are produced in America. They are seen in abundance in Chinese markets, and range in quality from the so-called "rice krispie" shaped pearl, to our rare, round, highly lustrous Tender Beauty™ brand freshwater pearls from the top 0.01% of the harvest. Freshwater pearls are grown in the bodies of mussels rather oysters, using only bits of tissue from a donor mollusk. This method forms a pearl that is almost solid nacre, the beautiful pearl gem material.
Freshwater pearls come in a range of tender, natural colors, such as white, cream, light yellow, peachy-pink, and lavender. Treated strands are most often irradiated to create deep, iridescent rainbow colors, or dyed to produce strong colors such as "chocolate", deep blue, fuschia pink, bright red, dark green, and purple.
SOUTH SEA PEARLS
Many pearls today are grown in the South Seas from a great oyster called Pinctada Maxima, which can grow as big as a dinner plate. Mother-of-Pearl beads and bits of tissue are implanted in this oyster to produce large, rare, round pearls with a natural luster like fine satin, and natural colors such as pure white, pale gold, and deep gold.
The price of a quality South Seas pearl is higher than other fine pearls because each Pinctada Maxima oyster makes only one pearl at a time, and even producing that one pearl can take several years. In addition, not every South Sea pearl from every harvest is a fine round, lustrous pearl, so it may take many harvests to obtain South Sea pearls suitable for fine jewelry.
Tahitian pearls don't really come from Tahiti, but from the many small islands and lagoons in French Polynesia to the south and west of Tahiti. They are rare pearls, grown using a bead and some tissue implanted into the large "black-lipped" oyster. This type of oyster has a strip of iridescent dark gray or black mother-of-pearl along the inner edge of its shell.
This oyster produces large, lustrous pearls in natural colors that range from black, to black with green, rose, purple, and blue highlights, to lighter silvery-green and azure hues. Since the black-lipped oyster can make only one pearl at a time, it can take several harvests to produce Tahitian pearls suitable for fine jewelry.
The natural colors of these pearls truly are special as well as rare. tenderbeautypearls.com carries several fine examples of jewelry made from naturally-colored Tahitian pearls, including earrings, pendants, and The PearlTack™.
MORE ABOUT PEARL CARE
Pearls are an important part of grooming for both women and men. They make a statement, and are meant to be worn and enjoyed for their beauty. tenderbeautypearls.com cultured pearl products are durable, and like all pearls, they are sensitive to harsh chemicals and perfumes. Put them on 30 minutes after using soaps, lotions, and hair styling or drying products. This will protect their clean, bright surfaces from developing blemishes.
Your cultured pearls may be worn every day for business, casual outings, and dress functions, and should be removed for swimming and other exercise. Please treat them well, never storing them in air-tight environments such as bank safe deposit boxes, or with hard jewelry items, which may scratch your pearls. Pearls are aquatic gems formed in living beings, and are made of organic as well as crystalline material. Everyday room temperatures and levels of humidity are just what they need to retain their beauty for years to come.
Simply keep your pearls in the FREE silk-and-velvet-lined gift box you will receive when you buy from us. (Whether traveling or at home, a velvet or silk-lined pouch or jewelry box works well, too.) If you wipe your pearls gently with a clean lint-free cloth after removal, you will clear them of skin oils and help them to retain their luster over generations.
Should you wish to purchase a gentle, all-natural pearl cleanser, please visit https://www.thepearldoctor.com/ at the link listed below.
You also may gently clean your pearls periodically with clean, room lukewarm water, if you choose. Detergents and soaps, sonic and liquid jewelry cleaners may damage your pearls. Carefully blot excess water from your pearls with a clean lint-free cloth if you wash them, then allow them to air dry for 24 hours at room temperature before wearing. (A damp string of pearls may stretch if worn too soon after washing.)
If your pearls are heavily soiled, they should be taken to a reputable jeweler for professional cleaning.
If you wear your pearl jewelry daily, you may wish to invest in restringing at a fine jewelry store once a year, to help prevent breakage. All of our tenderbeautypearls.com strands are strung on silk with tiny knots between each pearl, to help prevent loss in case of breakage.
If you want extra protection for your beautiful pearl treasures, please visit http://www.jewelersmutual.com to insure your pearls and other fine jewelry. Thank you for visiting www.tenderbeautypearls.com™.
Pearl jewelry customers who have questions, or who need assistance, may contact Johanna at:
Our email address is for customer service only. Offers from off-shore lotteries, persons engaged in illegal activities, and fraudulent orders, will be reported to appropriate authorities.