by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
Pearls are full of beautiful symbolism, making a pearl engagement ring a romantic choice as well as a gorgeous one. There’s nothing like a pearl’s soft sheen to say, “I love you.” Pearls are June’s birthstone and in different cultures, pearls can symbolize calm, purity, wisdom, and divinity. This guide explains what to look for in a pearl ring, what pearls mean, and how to take care of it for generations to come.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
What Are Pearls?
Pearls, like coral and amber, are the only gems that aren’t also gemstones. Pearls are formed when a mollusk, like an oyster, protects itself from grit that enters its shell by covering it with smooth layers of nacre, or calcium carbonate. This can happen naturally, or humans can start the process by embedding a round object in the oyster to make it form the pearl. These are called cultured pearls.
Natural pearls are much rarer and more expensive than cultured pearls. Vintage pearl jewelry from after approximately 1950 can feature either type of pearl, while antique pearl rings or other jewelry from before feature natural pearls.
Benefits of a Pearl Ring:
• Pearls symbolize love, purity, wisdom, and tranquility.
• Pearl jewelry can make you feel like Venus, Elizabeth Taylor, or Cleopatra.
• Pearls bring a touch of class to any outfit and photograph beautifully for that
engagement ring Instagram shot.
The oldest gem and the only one found organically in living organisms, pearl is a lustrous, stunning gem with a rich, iridescent sheen. Antique pearl jewelry is especially popular for bridal accents, and pearls are often associated with innocence, purity, chastity, modesty, and of course, romance and love, all of which are ideal traits for wedding jewelry.
• Love Symbolism
Pearls are associated with love and goddesses in nearly every culture. In Greek mythology, they are associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who, like pearls, came from the sea.
• Religous Symbolism
The Talmud regularly refers to pearls and one of Jesus’ parables refers to the value of “pearls of great price.” The Vedic Garuda Purana text describes nine different kinds of pearls – oyster pearl, conch pearl, cobra pearl, boar pearl, elephant pearl, bamboo pearl, whale pearl, fish pearl, and cloud pearl – though only oyster and conch pearls refer to what we call pearls today.
• Celebrity Symbolism
Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor have historic connections to pearls. According to legend, Cleopatra bet Marc Anthony that she could eat the most expensive dinner in history. She did this by dropping one of her beautiful pearl earrings into a goblet of wine, which dissolved it, and drinking it. This was a shrewd gesture as well as an extravagant one, since this way, she made it clear how rich Egypt was. Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor’s most famous husband, bought her the famous La Peregrina pearl, which dates from the late 1500s, and was owned by Spanish, French, and English royalty and nobility.
How Do I Take Care of a Pearl Engagement Ring?
Pearls are very soft gems, ranging from 2.5 to 4.0 on the Mohs scale. This means that you can scratch a pearl with many everyday objects, including keys, and most other gemstones. Avoid getting hairspray, perfume, cosmetics, or harsh soaps on pearls, since these can damage them.
Never use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner on pearls. Instead, after you wear it, wipe your pearl engagement ring or other jewelry with a soft, clean cloth. While pearls are more fragile than other stones, good care will help your perfect vintage pearl engagement ring last a lifetime and become an heirloom.
What to Look For in a Pearl Ring:
Luster and Color:
The best pearls look clean and are free of blisters or any other flaw on the surface. Pearls come in a range of colors and shades. In addition to the traditional white pearls, black pearls (also called Tahitian pearls), golden pearls, and pink conch pearls are among the most valuable colors. The best pearls shimmer, sometimes with undertones of other colors.
Wear and Tear:
Look for a setting that protects the pearl by surrounding it with metal or other gems. This will help keep your pearl engagement ring safe from damage.
Pearl jewelry has a distinguished and long history, but it was especially popular during the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco eras.
A vintage pearl ring is a romantic choice that, with a little care, with glow on your hand for years to come. Find your dream pearl ring today!
Vintage Pearl Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Vintage engagement rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of pearl engagement rings today!