Luster is the unique deep-seated glow, as opposed to surface shine, that distinguishes the pearl from all other gyms. It is formed by the refraction of light through the crystals of the pearl nacre which, like prisms, create iridescent beams of color that seem to dance from the heart of the pearl.
TYPES OF PEARLS
FRESH WATER PEARLSFresh water pearls are cultivated in mollusks, not oysters, and are found in fresh water lakes and rivers. They are generally elongated in shape and have a milky translucent appearance. Their wide range of interesting shapes and colors make up for a relatively low value.
CULTURED PEARLSCultured pearls are formed by oysters and are composed of a crystalline substance called nacre that is deposited around an irritant placed in the oyster.
TAHITIAN PEARLSTahitian pearls, also called black pearls, are dark in color. They are produced in a large, black-lipped pearl oyster, a mollusk found in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean. Tahitian pearls come in many colors including gray, peacock, green, aubergine, and deep brown.
LANGUAGE OF PEARLS
Oysters secrete nacre to form pearls. It is made of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate deposited in layers and bonded with an organic substance called conchiolin. Fine quality nacre gives pearls their luster.
The nucleus stimulant is placed in a pearl oyster, around which the oyster deposits nacre to form a pearl.
Orient is the delicate play of color on or just below the surface of a nacreous pearl.
Momme is the Japanese weight measurement used for pearls.