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Gemstone for a 3rd Anniversary: Pearl

Jackie Kennedy once said, “Pearls are always appropriate,”  but this is particularly true if you’re celebrating a 3rd anniversary. 

Pearls are what we call organic gemstones: gemstones that are produced by a living organism.  Pearls are formed inside molluscs such as oysters, clams and mussels, and occur when a small piece of grit or sand becomes lodged within the mollusc’s soft insides.  To protect itself, the mollusc secretes a substance called nacre, which hardens in thousands of layers around the object.  The result?  A beautiful iridescent pearl.   

Like most gemstones, pearls vary hugely in price and several factors determine how much you will pay for yours.  Pearls which occur without human intervention are called ‘natural pearls’, and a necklace of them would set you back vast amounts of cash.  Why?  It could well mean looking through 100,000 oysters to find enough pearls of the right size and colour to string a necklace!  Farmed pearls on the other hand, are formed around small ‘seed’ beads deliberately placed into the mollusc.

If you don’t have much to spend on your 3rd anniversary gemstone, go for freshwater pearls.  These are the most affordable way to own pearls.  They’re often sold as irregular shaped beads called baroque pearls. 

More expensive, though still within the bounds of reasonable, are farmed Akoya pearls.  With a diameter of between 4 and 10mm, these pearls are grown off the coast of Japan and are what we think of when we imagine the classic strand of round white pearls.

If you’re after somethinga little unusual, you could go for Tahitian pearls.  These French Polynesian beauties are large—up to 15mm in diameter—and naturally dark in colour, thanks to the nacre secreted by the native ‘black-lipped’ oyster.  Though they are also referred to as ‘black pearls’, most range in colour from dark grey and dark green to silver.  It’s rare to find perfectly round Tahitian pearls, but even the baroque shapes are expensive.

Looking to splash some serious cash on your 3rd anniversary gemstone?  South Sea pearls can fetch tens of thousands of dollars per pearl.  These stunning specimens sometimes exceed 20mm and form in various hues of cream, white and gold..

As well as being the gemstone for your 3rd anniversary, pearl is also the gemstone for your 30th anniversary.  Perhaps you could commission a piece of pearl jewellery for your 3rd anniversary that will eventually be joined by another for your 30th!

Be well. Take care!

Kim Rix GG GIA

Gemstone Detective

Be sure. Be smart. Buy with confidence