Think You Know All About your Pearl Engagement Ring?

Feb. 13 2014
Do you really know the centrepiece on your pearl engagement ring? Here is the Pearl’s personal bio.

When L initially suggested the possibility of a pearl engagement ring, I did not give it very much consideration. After all, I knew what a pearl looked like and did not really feel that it was all that impressive.

However, I felt obliged to do some research and, once again, I severely underestimated just how many different kinds of pearls there were and each one appears to be more unique-looking than the last. I find pearls rather curious little gems, given their origins, but now the idea of a pearl engagement ring is actually growing on me.

The truth is, there actually exist almost as many different types of pearls as types of diamonds. Their appearance is generally standardised enough that they are recognisable as pearls, but each different type presents certain characteristics which may influence a couple’s decision when looking for a pearl engagement ring.

Natural or Cultured Pearls

The first basic difference found in pearls today is their origin, as they can either be natural or ‘cultured’. Cultured pearls are specially bred in facilities, while ‘natural’ pearls may have been plucked from inside an oyster at the bottom of the sea.

Pearl by David McLoughlin

Pearl by David McLoughlin

The latter are naturally rougher in shape and texture than cultured pearls, but possess an unspoilt charm and totally unique appearance. However, jewellery pearls are much more likely to have been cultured, to make sure there is less risk of major irregularities.

Breeding Environment

The distinction between cultured and natural is not, however, the only thing influencing the look, feel or even price of the stone that could end up featured on your pearl engagement ring. The environment the pearl was cultivated in also factors into its final appearance and value, and in this regard there are several things potential buyers should bear in mind.

Pearls actually divide themselves into two groups according to the type of water they were bred in: saltwater and freshwater. Saltwater pearls are usually of much higher quality than their freshwater counterparts, so a pearl engagement ring containing a gem of this type is likely to be more expensive than one where the pearl is of the freshwater variety. The price difference is, however, generally worth it, since, as noted, these types of stones make for much more appealing jewellery.

freshwater pearl bracelet by Cheryl Brind, Used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Although freshwater pearls are less expensive than their saltwater counterparts, they do provide your jewellery with a delightful and original look.

Shapes and Colours

Both these types of pearls come in a variety of shapes and colours, many of which possess their own specific identifying title (Akoya pearls, for instance, or Mikimoto pearls). The possibilities are endless and whereas the pearl engagement ring used to be regarded as a fairly neutral ring choice, now they are exotic, elegant and timeless.

The magnificent iridescent quality synonymous with pearls can now be found in delicate shades of pinks, chocolate browns and even a mysterious black colour.

As an alternative to the standard diamond ring, so commonly seen these days, a pearl engagement ring can be the perfect choice. Unique, elegant, exotic and feminine are just a few of the words that can be used to describe these exquisite stones, and there are certainly no limits to your available options.

Have these designers create your perfect ring

SPOTLIGHT
David and Barry McCaulLondon
Robert FeatherYorkshire
Karlin AndersonLondon
Ruth TomlinsonLondon
Aimee WinstoneBristol
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