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Freshwater Pearls

 Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are a kind of stone that comes from freshwater mussels. They are produced in Japan, China, and the United States. They are often used in jewelry and are also crushed to make cosmetic paints.

Brief History of Freshwater Pearls

China is the number one producer of freshwater pearls, followed by Japan and the United States. Over 35 years ago, China's highly lustrous rice pearls began appearing around the world, and since then the freshwater pearl industry has taken off.

The identification of genuine Freshwater Pearls

freshwater pearls

There are thousands of pearl jewelry designs to choose from in the market today. Before buying one, it is strongly suggested that you master the methods of identifying the genuine ones from fake ones.

Before your identification, you may need to know the kind of pearls available in the market. One of them is the saltwater pearls. These are formed inside oysters that are living in the heart of the ocean. It has three types, including Tahitian, Akoya, and South Sea Pearls, depending on the kind of oyster that produced it. The other one are freshwater pearls. They are formed inside mussels that are living in lakes, rivers, ponds, or any other body of fresh water.

Saltwater pearls and freshwater pearls can be both natural or cultured. Natural means no human intervention and the pearl is formed naturally by the oyster or mussel. As for the word “cultured”, it means that a pearl grower will carefully open the shell and introduce a small object as an irritant (commonly a bead or metal) and get them back into the water and wait for the pearl to form.

To help you with identifying genuine freshwater pearls, here is a three way test:
1. Tooth test - get the pearl and run it against your front teeth, just right below the biting edge. If you sense a gritty feeling, it is most probably real. Fake pearls are smooth, like plastic or glass. However, be very careful of the pearls that are made from ground shells as they can also be gritty.
2. Luster test - test the pearls against all kinds of light. Fake pearls will have a shine only on the surface, while genuine pearls always shine from within.
3. Rub test - get two pearls and rub it together. It should be gritty and do not slide off each other.

How to Take Care of Freshwater Pearls

 Freshwater Pearls

No matter Freshwater pearls are natural or cultured, they all possess a soft surface which can easily be scratched or damaged. Because of this reason, it is up to you to keep your pearl jewelry separate from others. Placing them inside a pouch rather than a jewelry box will be much better as the latter's surface can also cause nicks to appear in pearl jewelry.

The life of pearl jewelry may be affected by the acidity level of a woman's skin. If a woman with a particularly high level of acidity in her skin wears a pearl necklace constantly, the acidity will gradually seep into the pearl, influencing its luster and shape. In order to slow down the process, one should always polish his or her pearls with a non-abrasive cloth after taking them off.

What’s more, we should be extremely careful about exposing pearl jewelry to chemicals. Perfume spraying can cause great damage to pearl jewelry while you are wearing them. Other liquid spilling should be also avoided, especially when the liquid has rather strong properties such as lemon and vinegar.

Furthermore, there is also another factor that causes damage to pearl jewelry-heat. If the occasions allowed, you’d better not to wear pearl jewelry, especially when it’s hot and humid. Indeed, the climate can change the color of your pearls or even cause cracks on the surface.

Make sure that you are using only jewelry cleaners specifically intended for pearl cleaning and nothing else. You can not steam-clean pearls as well. If you wish to preserve the luster of your pearls, you can use a drop of olive oil on them.

Pearl jewelry is amazing to possess not only because of its natural beauty but also because of the amount of hard work put into them. Hard work by humans and nature combined.

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