How pearls are formed:
- When a foreign object is lodged into a mussel or an oyster (a mollusc), the animal starts to secrete a
substance called nacre around the irritant in order to protect itself
- As long as the irritant remains in the mollusc it will keep building up layer after layer of nacre around the
- Over time the irritant will be completely encased in the nacre and a pearl is born
A cultured pearl is created in the same way as a natural pearl with layers of nacre coating an irritant. The difference between a natural and a cultured pearl is that the cultured pearl is created through human interference and deliberate introduction of an irritant in the mollusc.
Due to rarity and price of natural pearls cultured pearls dominate the pearl market and they account for over 95% of all sold pearls. All pearls in Pandora jewellery are cultured.
Just like diamonds and coloured stones, the quality, beauty and value of pearls are affected by a number of different factors.
The main quality factors are:
- Size: Pearl sizes are measured in millimetres and the bigger the pearl, the better.
- Shape: Pearls come in many different shapes and traditionally the rounder the pearl is, the better.
- Colour: The colour is composed of a base colour and an overtone. Some pearls also display the orient phenomenon /rainbow effect).
- Lustre: Lustre is an important factor as it brings about the pearl’s “inner glow”.
- Surface (quality): The surface should have as few irregularities (spots, abrasions, bumps) as possible.
- Nacre quality: The thicker the nacre the better
- Matching: In jewellery pieces containing more than one pearl, the pearls need to be carefully matched for size and colour in order to have a uniform appearance.
Pandora cultured pearls are of a high quality.
Read more about the cultured pearls used in Pandora jewellery here: