For centuries pearls have been treasured by civilisations and cultures across the globe. Greek mythology saw pearls as tears of joy shed by the Goddess Aphrodite. Ancient Egyptians associated them with Isis, the goddess of healing and life, whilst an ancient Arab legend tells us that pearls were formed when dewdrops filled with moonlight fell into the ocean and were swallowed by oysters. The French believe they make a woman’s complexion more beautiful.
Australian South Sea Pearls
Australian South Sea Pearls are grown in the pristine waters off the northern and Western Australian coast. South Sea pearls are found in a variety of natural colours including white, silver, gold and rose. They grow to between 9mm and 16mm in size and can occasionally be found up to 20mm in size, though such pearls are very rare.
Tahitian Pearls are grown in the clear warm waters of the Pacific of French Polynesia. They come in various natural shades ranging from steel grey, green and purple, to blue and black.
Akoya Pearls are grown off the coast of Japan. These cultured pearls are white and highly lustrous and can come with cream and pink overtones. They rarely grow to more than 9mm in size and are most often used in pearl strands for their uniformity in size.
Freshwater pearls are grown in the waters of China. They are readily available in sizes from 2mm (called seed pearls) and are now able to be grown in sizes of up to 12-14mm.