Although I knew the music “pearly shells” since I was a toddler (was probably even coaxed to dance along to it more than a couple of times), it wasn’t until Jewelmer got us to sit down on a Pearl Talk 101 event last June 25, 2010 at the Jewelmer Showroom in Eastwood mall that I truly appreciated and was totally impressed by this lone precious stone that is produced inside a living organism- the mollusk.
Basics things to know about pearls:
• Pearls are organic gems – which means they come from a living organism.
• Pears are composed of nacre. This is a natural substance produced by mollusks that also coat the inside of the animals shell.
• Mother of pearl
• Nacre is made up mostly of calcium carbonate crystallized in the form of the mineral aragonite.
2 kinds of mollusks that produce pearls:
• Mussel – two-shelled mollusk that lives in fresh water.
• Oyster – two-shelled mollusk that lives in salt water.
It is interesting to know that pearls are produced inside the mollusk as a response to a stimulus to defend itself. How more beautiful can nature get? The mollusk produces a sac around any invader. The sac thereon secretes nacre to cover the irritant. The nacre and sac materials are made by the mollusks mantle.
We were somewhat virtually transported to the Pearl farm of Palawan and was told about the painstaking process of manufacturing pearls, from oyster to the fine jewelry that we were paraded in the showroom. The most challenging part is coming up with consistently well-matched earrings, necklaces, rings and earrings, and strands, especially with limited supply. It takes at least four to five years of training to master the skill of matching pearls of the same size, color, and grade.
From the time an oyster is bred and raised, to its nucleation, the first step towards the creation of a pearl, can take as long as two years. For another four to five years, the nucleated oyster is then carefully cared for until its treasure is ready to be harvested. Based on Jewelmer’s years of experience, a round, clean golden pearl, the kind for which the company has become known, comes only once in every 1,000 oysters. With each strand made of about 35 pearls, it thus takes some 35,000 oysters to produce one perfect strand!
You love your country. You care for your planet. You wear a pearl.
The golden south sea pearl is the Philippine national gem: A true representation of our country’s rich heritage and a reminder of all the best qualities of the Philippines. Pearl is a symbol of the health of our planet, its beauty, a result of nature’s bounty and man’s passion for perfection.
This pearl advocacy limited edition bracelet is sold at Jewelmer stores for P2,500.