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Pearls are the only gemstones created by living creatures. They are the product of a natural process whereby shellfish and molluscs produce layers of nacre around a foreign body.
The most popular pearl jewellery are pearl necklaces and pearl earrings. Pearl necklaces are considered classic and elegant, adding a refined and sophisticated accent to formal or casual outfits. Pearl earrings are also highly prized for their subtle and feminine look, and are suitable for different occasions and dress styles.
The size of pearls can range from very small, a few millimetres, to rare and precious pearls over 15 mm in diameter. Large, perfectly round pearls are very valuable.
The colours of pearls can range from pure white to pastel shades of pink, cream or blue. There are also black pearls, which are considered some of the rarest and most expensive.
Natural freshwater pearls form naturally in freshwater shells, without human intervention, and are rarer and more valuable than cultured pearls, with a diversity of unique shapes, colours and textures.
Cultured pearls are pearls created by human intervention in the formation process, introducing a nucleus or foreign particle into a shell or mollusc. They can be produced in both fresh and salt water, and are prized for the variety of shapes and colours they can present.
To care for pearl jewellery, avoid exposure to sunlight, harsh chemicals, including perfumes and cosmetics. Pearls are sensitive to acids and excessive drying, so they should be wiped with a soft, damp cloth after each wear.