The origins of pearls
Natural pearls are defined as the concretions produced by some sea or freshwater mollusks that make them with the same substance they make their shells with, and which vary in aesthetic appearance. Pearls are organic gems, in other words, they are made by living organisms like oysters, mainly species from oceans in the East, and they are an integral part of the organism.
A mollusk produces a pearl as a defense mechanism against an intruder, either one of natural origins like a small parasitic organism (natural pearls) or as a foreign element introduced by humans into the mantle cavity (cultured or farmed pearls). To protect itself, the creature creates a sort of sack around the intruder and then begins to secrete a material called nacre that surrounds the foreign body.
Both the sack tissue and nacre are produced by the mantle of the mollusk (the membrane that surrounds its body and lines the inside of the shell). As the layers of nacre, also known as Mother of Pearl, are deposited on the intruder, the pearl slowly grows in size.
The meaning of pearls
The term "pearl" derives from the Latin "permula", the name for the shell that contains them. Historically, because of their practicality, pearls were one of the most valued gemstones by humans because they were ready to be worn as soon as they were harvested. According to some historians, pearls were once hunted because they were believed to give anyone who wore them health, strength, eternal youth and marital happiness.
Types of pearls
There are two types of pearls: saltwater and freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are grown in lakes and rivers, while saltwater pearls, which are more valuable, come from oceans and quite often from lagoons. The three types of saltwater pearls are Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea or Australian pearls.
Italiana Gioielli’s pearl pendants are like drops of dew that have fallen into the sea. Thanks to the love we have for our work, we uniquely match the best pearls with gold and diamond jewelry, creating a touch of class alongside the symbols, traditions and legends connected to these fantastic gems.