Pearls are organic gems, created when an oyster covers a foreign object with layers of mother-of-pearl.
Since natural pearls are now extremely rare, most of today’s pearls are produced using a grafting technique, whereby a shell bead is artificially inserted into the oyster, thus becoming cultured pearls.
The quality of pearls is judged by their orient – the iridescence caused by the refraction of light in the layers of mother-of-pearl – and their luster, or surface shine.
Van Cleef & Arpels selects only flawless pearls with regular shapes and beautiful color. The Maison mainly obtains cultured pearls from Japan, South Pacific, Australia and Tahiti.
From the Latin word “perla”, which means shell, pearls are said to symbolize love, success, and happiness. They are the gemstones for the 3rd and 30th wedding anniversaries.
Maintaining your pearl:
Pearls are a living substance that are particularly delicate and sensitive to solvents and require certain precautions and very special care. They should not be stored in air-tight plastic bags. They are sensitive to acids, dryness, and humidity. If you wear cosmetics, perfume, or hair spray, please wait 10 minutes after application before wearing your pearls.
When taking off your pearls, wipe them with a dry, lint-free cloth. If needed, clean your pearls with warm soapy water. Dry your pearls flat on an absorbent soft (preferably lint-free) towel. Regularly worn necklaces or bracelets should be re-threaded once a year.