When it comes to the big day many brides choose classic wedding jewelry that can be used again for more formal or timeless affairs. Often times the jewelry of choice is the classic pearl strand or simple pearl accent jewelry to compliment the more ornate bridal gown and veil. Pearls are associated with natural beauty, femininity and purity and thus make the perfect choice for a wedding.
Interestingly, pearls are the only gemstones that are produced by a living creature and thus are extremely rare if found without human intervention.
Most pearls are ‘cultured’ meaning they are formed by introducing a small foreign substance (for salt water pearls a piece of mother of pearl shell bead called a nucleus is inserted and in freshwater pearls a piece of tissue that is absorbed over time) into the tissues of an oyster or mussel. Over time layers of organic material called nacre form around this substance with the end result being a beautiful natural pearl.
Pearls are graded based on their size, shape (perfect roundness), luster (shine/brilliance, the way a pearl reflects light), surface quality (scratches, pits, bumps or wrinkles), nacre thickness (relevant in saltwater pearls only as freshwater pearls are solid nacre), color, and matching on the strand. There are several options depending on what price point brides have available to them.
Most Expensive Pearls – South Sea Pearl
The most expensive pearl strands are the South Sea pearls due to their extreme delicacy, unique metallic color and exceptional roundness. These are also the largest of all the natural pearls, ranging in size from 10-20mm. These pearls come in rich golden tones, cream and lustrous silver. Pearls of this quality are often given as anniversary gifts.
Most Dramatic – Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls are next in terms of size and range from 9mm-16mm. These lustrous pearls have a gorgeous one-of-a-kind dark color that range from almost black to undertones and overtones of green, pink, blue, silver and yellow. These pearls are formed from the black-lipped oyster in French Polynesia.
Most Popular Pearls – Akoya
Akoya pearls are the most popular choice for all brides due to the fact that they offer the highest luster of all the cultured pearls. These range in size from 5mm-11mm with the rarest being between 10mm-11mm. Akoya colors range from white, cream and pink to silver pink making for a perfect luminous compliment for any bridal attire.
Most Plentiful – Freshwater Pearls
Another favorite option for bridal jewelry are freshwater pearls. Althose these pearls are the most plentiful and also the least expensive, this doesn’t detract from their beauty. As the only freshwater cultured pearl, these natural gems offer an advantage that the other pearls do not possess. All freshwater pearls are solid nacre, therefore the pearl offers extra durability and longevity.
Where To Buy Pearls Online
Like diamonds, pearls can be purchased online offering greater shopping convenience, lower prices, and larger inventories. A great place to start your pearl search is Zoara.com as they source their pearls directly from Southeast Asia and Oceana where the cultured pearl industry is the strongest. They also purchase only the very best top quality pearls from Japan making it easy to purchase quality wedding jewelry for any bride.
Zoara offers a comprehensive range of pearls that suit any occasion or celebratory event with something to fit any budget. Their selection includes freshwater, Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and even certified Hanadama pearls (upon special request). Their pearls can be customized and configured in any way that a customer wishes so they are able to explore all options.
Quotes Dan Lax, Zoara’s Sales and Customer Service Manager, “One of the amazing benefits of our exclusive network of pearl suppliers is that we can get literally anything very quickly and for terrific prices.”
If you read my Zoara Review, you’ll know that I’m already a fan of their diamonds and prices. Hmmm,…I think I may just have to order my very own pearl strand and report my findings….all in the name of offering ODBA readers the best in online product reviews and deals! Stay tuned!
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