Buying Pearl Jewelry Without Being Ripped-OffWritten by Sam Serio
Buying pearl jewelry can be fun, exciting and confusing. Whether you’re considering a gift of pearl jewelry for someone special or as a treat for yourself, take some time to learn terms used in industry. Here’s some information to help you get best quality pearl jewelry for your money, whether you’re shopping in a traditional brick and mortar store or online.
Pearls Natural or real pearls are made by oysters and other mollusks. Cultured pearls also are grown by mollusks, but with human intervention; that is, an irritant introduced into shells causes a pearl to grow. Imitation pearls are man-made with glass, plastic, or organic materials.
Because natural pearls are very rare, most pearls used in jewelry are either cultured or imitation pearls. Cultured pearls, because they are made by oysters or mollusks, usually are more expensive than imitation pears. A cultured pearl’s value is largely based on its size, usually stated in millimeters, and quality of its nacre coating, which give it luster. Jewelers should tell your if pearls are cultured or imitation. Some black, bronze, gold, purple, blue and orange pearls, whether natural or cultured, occur that way in nature; some, however, are dyed through various processes. Jewelers should tell you whether colored pearls are naturally colored, dyed or irradiated.
Clams, oysters, mussels and many other mollusks with limy shells are known to produce pearls. But very few kinds yield gem pearls of jeweler's quality. The pearl is an abnormal growth of mother-of-pearl, or nacre, imbedded in soft bodies of these shellfish. It is built up, layer upon layer, in same way as nacre is added to lining of growing shell and always has same color and luster. For example, over country, hundreds of good-sized pearls are found each year in oysters we eat. Unfortunately these have no commercial value regardless of whether they have been cooked or not because they are dull opaque white or purple like shell of parent oyster. In recent times almost all pearls of gem quality come from oriental pearl oyster which has a bright shimmering translucent nacre.
Celtic JewelryWritten by Sam Serio
Celtic jewelry like Celts themselves has a rich history and a proud tradition. Immensely beautiful with intricate Celtic symbols and delicate designs, Celtic cross jewelry, Celtic knot jewelry, and beautiful Claddaugh rings have been admired and desired for thousands of years. Celtic Cross Jewelry One of most enduring, and coveted "gifts" of Celtic culture is jewelry featuring Celtic Cross. According to Irish legend, St. Patrick created first Celtic cross by drawing a circle over a Latin cross. For an Irish Catholic, circle in Celtic cross may be a symbol of eternity and endlessness of God's love. It can even represent a halo emanating from Christ. Some say four "arms" of Celtic Cross represent elements (fire, earth, air, and water). Others believe cross denotes four directions of compass, and still others feel it is a representation of human existence - mind, body, soul and heart. Celtic Knots The most distinguishing characteristic of Celtic knots is their intricate patterns and design…and debate as to meaning of those designs. While it is unquestionable that many of ancient designs had some significance, those meanings changed from tribe to tribe and location to location. Many believe that intricate looping in knots was a way to keep out evil spirits. It is also generally accepted that looping Celtic knot design denotes eternity and interconnectedness. Still, there is no definitive guide as to meaning of Celtic knots which, adds, perhaps to their mystery and appeal. Claddagh Rings Named for town of Claddagh near Galway in which they are said to have originated, Claddagh rings are beloved Celtic symbols of Irish culture and sentiment. Unlike other Celtic symbols, meaning behind Claddagh ring is well-documented. The Claddagh design has a heart (symbolizing love) topped by a crown (symbolizing loyalty) held in two hands (signifying friendship). The phrase that is usually associated with giving of a Claddagh ring is "Let love and friendship reign."