A pearl is an organic gem. It is also called by other names such as orphic gem and sea gem. It is formed when a foreign object enters an oyster. In a typical defence action it secretes layers of nacre around the intruder. Over a period of time this layered nacre becomes a pearl.
Today, these are produced naturally as well as artificially. Man-made pearls are produced by placing a bead in an oyster. Once this oyster in left in the sea it forms thick nacre around the bead which later takes the shape of a beautiful sea gem.
The term “black pearl” is generalized to a large extent. These orphic gems are not literally black but made up of several dark hues such a blue, green and grey. Because of its dark reflective property they are termed as black pearls. Black freshwater pearls, black Akoya pearls and black Tahitian pearls are some of the important variants. Typically these are used to craft embellishments for party wear.
Tahiti pearls are famous for their dark hues. They are commonly called black Tahitian pearls. These black beauties come from the famous lagoons of French Polynesia in the South pacific. They grow in a black-lipped oyster called the Pinctada Margaritifera and are graded according to the thickness of their nacre and surface quality. These orphic gems are adored for their large size and mystical charm.
The South Sea Pearl is the king of all pearls. It is the most sought after sea gem because they are found in such gorgeous colors as white, silver and gold. They are also adored for their absolutely stunning sheen and large size; generally available in the range of 8mm to 16mm. These pearls come from the largest oysters in the world called the Pinctada maxima, which are found off the coast of Western Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Akoya pearls come from Akoya oysters, typically found off the coast of Japan. These sea gems are usually white but they can also carry a cream overtone. These are the third most popular pearls after the South Sea and the Tahitian. Akoya orphic gems were the first cultured pearls used to make affordable adornments.
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