The priceless beauty of a pearl is equaled only by the mystery of its formation. Some legends say that pearls are teardrops of angels. While other fantasies say that they are dewdrops that fall into oysters. Yet, another legend says that when a shooting star falls into the ocean, it turns into a pearl. The truth is even more fascinating than all these fantasies put together. When a piece of sand or any other foreign body enters an oyster, the oyster tries to expel it. If it fails, the oyster takes defensive mechanism against the irritant by covering it with concentric layers of an iridescent substance called nacre. The oyster keeps on producing the nacre that builds up layer by layer over the irritating intrusion in concentric circles. Over a long period of time, this progressive collection of nacre turns into a pearl. Pearls for every occasion Mother’s Day – 9th May – The perfect gift for your mother – an accessory for every woman! Valentine’s Day – 14th Feb – Every Mikoya creation will compliment your loved one for this celebration! Wedding Anniversaries – They say an undrilled pearl signifies strong bonds. Gift her the symbol of everlasting love! Birthdays – As years pass, the beauty and radiance of the pearl grows! The most appropriate present for an occasion so special! Any Reason, Any Seasons – When you want to celebrate the person, there is a Mikoya creation to help you say what you truly feel. Different Types of Pearls South Sea Pearls - Cultured in the warm tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Tahiti Pearls - The pearls of Tahiti are commonly known around the world as “Black Pearls”. They are indigenous to the remote areas of French Polynesia in the south Pacific. Japanese Akoya Pearls - Cultured in the sea around Japan. Fresh Water Pearls - Produced inside mussels in the lakes of China and Biwa Lake in Japan. Keshi Pearls - The result of the rejection of the nucleus by the oyster and hence irregularly shaped. Mabe Pearls - Large hemispherical pearls, which grow against the inside of the oyster shell. Recognizing & Choosing Pearls Natural Pearls Are formed when an irritant becomes accidentally lodged inside an oyster. Cultured Pearls Are those formed when man places an irritant in the oyster. Quality - All the factors that disturb surface smoothness of the pearl and hence decide its appearance are called blemishes and imperfections (also called spots of flaws). The quality of the pearl is greatly affected by blemishes. Natural blemishes are formed during pearl cultivation. Luster - Luster is the surface brilliancy of pearls. It is probably the best expression of a pearl’s beauty. Luster does not simply mean a shiny surface. It implies the structural beauty of the nacre. Color - Pearl color is a combination of body color and overtone. Body color is the predominant basic color of the pearl and includes white, light cream & dark cream, yellow or golden, black, peacock black, gray, silver gray, light pink or pink. You should remember that pearl color for the purposes of grading is not a measure of the beauty of pearls or your choice of pearl color. Shape - Typical shapes of cultured pearls range starts from Round, Semi-Round, Drop, Oval, Button, Baroque and Semi Baroque. Size - For cultured pearls, size means the pearl’s diameter measurement. Pearl size is measured in millimeters, rounded to the nearest 0.5 mm. The larger the pearl, the rare it is, hence more valuable. Caring for your Pearls * Pearls, unlike other gems and precious stones, are softer. So, it is important to take care of them to keep them lustrous and beautiful for a long, long time. * Perfumes and cosmetics can be harmful to your pearls. So, wear the pearls after applying make-up, perfume and cosmetics. * When you remove the pearls after wearing, wipe them with a soft cloth. * Store your pearl jewellery in a silk bag or velvet-lined box when you are not wearing them. Always keep separated from hard jewellery, to prevent them from getting scratched.