October 29, 2009---Design of pearls seems an unlikely possibility, but, in fact, a wide variety of colors and shapes exist even through they are extensions of the natural process. The Chinese began pearl design in the twelfth century by cementing tiny Buddhas carved from wood, stone, or ivory or cast from metal inside the shells of freshwater mussels. The Buddhas became coated with nacre, or pearlized, and were a successful product. This practice still thrives in Chinese pearl culturing. The same general technique is used to make half-pearls called mabes. A molded or cut half shape is planted against the oyster’s shell; after it becomes coated and is removed, the half-pearl can be mounted on a jewelry backing, like an earring.
In color, Japanese pearls range naturally from pink to blue to greenish yellow. Pearls are bleached to lighten these colors and eliminate any surface staining. Colored pearls are made by injecting dye into the porous conchiolin, and the pearl must be drilled to be dyed. The most exotic “designer“ pearls are probably the large black pearls cultured in Australia and the South Seas. They are grown in the largest pearl oysters in the world. Black pearls also display a natural range of colors from silver to green pearls called “peacocks““”and white.
Shape is also designed not only by creating pearlized molds but through culturing of freshwater pearls. These come in irregular shapes determined by the piece of mantle inserted to stimulate growth of a pearl. Human intervention is visible in these designs, because the implanter’s skill influences the shape of the resulting pearl.
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Casijewelry Co., Ltd., online wholesale & retail jewelry store in China, is mainly engaged in business of sterling 925 silver jewelry & freshwater cultured pearl jewelry. All pearls are directly from Chinese culutred pearl farms.

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