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Pearls 101: A Quick Look at the Different Types

Friday, August 10, 2018 11:55:31 AM America/Chicago

Cultured pearl come in a variety of colors and shapes from round to baroque. image c/o shutterstock

Pearls aren’t just for necklaces anymore. 

A tradition the world over, pearls are often passed down through families, expanding their reach. But their uses have expanded, too. Growing popularity in fashion and decorations make pearls versatile and elegant items. 


They can be seen worn with casual or formal wear or as part of wedding, home or party décor. 

While pearls can been seen just about everywhere, different pearls can be used for different occasions. 

Understanding the different types of pearls is the first step to finding the perfect pearl for any event or space. 


Natural pearls

A wild, natural pearl is extremely rare, so if you get your hands on one, hold on to it!

Natural pearls are made almost completely of calcium carbonate and conchiolin, with no human assistance. 

These pearls come in a variety of shapes, and perfectly round ones are the rarest. 


Cultured pearls 

You are probably familiar with cultured pearls, which are created on a farm and made in either freshwater or saltwater. Not all mollusks create pearls, and when they are created, they may not be of high quality.

Cultured pearls are typically a uniform shape and size, but can be dyed any color. 

Cultured pearls are sold at a variety of prices based on quality and rarity of the type. There are 4 distinct types of cultured pearls. They are Akoya (saltwater), freshwater, South Sea and Tahitian. Here’s a closer look at each.

Akoya pearls


Commonly seen with white color and rose overtones, the finest Akoya pearls come from Japanese pearls farms. 


The roundest and most lustrous of these saltwater pearls are considerably more perfectly round and smoother than other types of cultured pearls.



South Sea Pearls


Found in Australia, Philippines and Indonesia, the South Sea pearls are among the rarest and most valuable of pearls. South Sea pearls are hard to miss and they stand out from other pearls usually due to their ability to grow larger than other types of cultured pearls.


South Sea pearls are large in size and range in color from optic white to a deep, honey gold. These pearls have a soft, luxurious reflection.


Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for these rare, but high-quality pearls. 



Tahitian Pearls


These pearls are known for their natural exotic black color — but don’t be fooled, they can come in any color including light creamy white, greens and deep black. The color comes from the oyster’s black lips. 


Tahitian pearls are farmed in French Polynesia, not Tahiti like the name suggests.





Freshwater Pearls


This varietal of pearl grows in mussels that live in rivers and lakes and are most commonly found in China. Mussels can create more than one pearl at a time. 


Pearls found in freshwater will look less lustrous and glossy than saltwater pearls. 


Freshwater pearls come in a variety of shapes and colors and are usually cheaper than saltwater pearls therefore they are commonly used for multi-strand necklaces and bracelets.


Now take this knowledge — and your pearls — and go impress some people at your next party. 




Alyssa Groh, 22CM Boost




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Posted By Patti Dechter

Wedding Trends For 2019

Friday, August 10, 2018 10:37:31 AM America/Chicago

With the summer wedding season coming to a close, we have researched some of the looks, venues, and details that you will be seeing throughout the 2019 wedding season.




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Posted By Patti Dechter

5 Times Pearls Dazzled On Movie Screens

Monday, July 23, 2018 12:05:02 PM America/Chicago

Pearls are known to impress and have done so time after time, including on your favorite Hollywood starlets in major motion pictures.

No matter the way pearls are worn in movies, whether in a formal setting or with casual wear, they can steal the scene.

Do you remember these iconic moments?


 Julia Stiles in The Prince and Me (2004)

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Posted By Patti Dechter

How To Find The Right Baby Photographer

Thursday, July 19, 2018 3:09:41 PM America/Chicago


Finding the perfect photographer for your baby is like finding a needle in a haystack. The right place, right price, and right person poses quite the challenge. We’ve covered below some of the most important topics and questions you need to be asking before you hire.


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Posted By Patti Dechter

Incorporate Pearls Into Any Outfit, A Step-by-Step Guide

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 12:45:40 PM America/Chicago

Dressing it up or dressing it down, adding pearls to your attire is as timeless as it is attractive

It is no secret that women put a lot of time and effort into deciding what to wear on a daily basis. We care, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Whether you are heading to an important business meeting, a wedding, run errands or a backyard barbecue, your look matters. And adding a pearl can help.

Before deciding on the type of pearl you want to wear, it is important to already have your outfit picked out. 

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Posted By Patti Dechter

6 Ways Pearls Add Elegance To Your Wedding

Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:04:15 PM America/Chicago

Pearls can be part of your wedding day in a number of ways, from extravagant and complex to subtle and original.

Wedding season is upon us, but it’s far from over, and brides-to-be are still looking for more ways to incorporate class and originality into their wedding day.

There is an old tradition that says wearing pearls on your wedding day ensures happiness and no tears throughout your marriage. With that in mind, it is common for mothers to pass down pearls to the bride to wear as she walks down the aisle.

Pearls not only represent traditions, history and fashion, but they also are known for adding a special kind of elegance to any outfit.

While pearls are commonly worn as necklaces, earrings, rings, headbands and bracelets, they can also be used in numerous ways to decorate for the wedding ceremony or reception.

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Posted By Patti Dechter

How To Care For Cultured Pearls

Friday, May 25, 2018 12:31:42 PM America/Chicago


With a little care, pearls can last a lifetime – or two or three. In many families, it’s traditional to pass cultured pearls from one generation to the next. Cultured pearls are not the most durable of gems, but if they are properly cared for, they can retain their original beauty for generations.

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Posted By Patti Dechter

Lucky High School Grad

Friday, May 25, 2018 9:26:46 AM America/Chicago


My mother told me about the add-a-pearl necklace and when my niece was born. I bought the gold chain with the single pearl. I added pearls every year for her birthday in January. Usually i added anywhere from 3-6 pearls trying to gauge what might be needed to finish the necklace at 16".

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Posted By Patti Dechter

Why Pearls Should Be Hand-Strung

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 1:36:52 PM America/Chicago


One of the questions we get asked most frequently is how pearls are added to a necklace. Add-A-Pearls, like the finest strands of pearls in the world, are always strung on silk thread. Unlike costume jewelry or imitation add a bead type products, Add-A-Pearls do not slide over the clasp of the chain. Sure, it’s tempting to be drawn to the ease of adding pearls to your necklace at home by sliding them over the chain, but buyer beware, the easy way is not necessarily the best way especially when dealing with a sizable investment such as a pearl necklace. To preserve their value and beauty, pearls should always be strung on silk thread. Here’s why:

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Posted By Patti Dechter

Pearls, Love and Prayers

Thursday, March 29, 2018 10:23:46 AM America/Chicago

Chloe and her complete strand of pearls

Vicki's granddaughter Chloe has been receiving pearls since 2002 and was able to have them all strung into a complete necklace for Christmas in 2012. photo c/o Vicki Wadsworth

Each of my granddaughters gets 100 pearls. With each pearl they get 6 Bible verses that coordinate with the beginning of the letters ... PEARLS. 






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Posted By Patti Dechter
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