Friday, 29 December 2017

Top 15 Pearl Facts

Top 15 Pearl Facts

Want to know more about the pearls within our pearl necklace, pearl ring, pearl bracelet or pearl jewellery sets, then carry on reading for our must know pearl facts. 

  1. The first cultured pearl was created on July 11th, 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto.  The pearl created was hemispherical and was the first successful cultured pearl creation after many failed attempts.  The Japanese island the pearl was created on has since been renamed Mikimoto Pearl Island.
  2. Natural and cultured pearls are both created when a substance called nacre is produced in response to a foreign body or damage to the mollusc.
  3. Cultured pearls are created when foreign tissue is implanted into a mollusc from a donor oyster.
  4. Pearls are largely made from Calcium Carbonate.  As such, they can be dissolved in a solution of vinegar (this might take some time, possibly days).
  5. The viable process of creating artificial pearls largely destroyed the economy of Kuwait, which was very much dependent on pearl fishing before the explosion of the oil industry and the discovery of Kuwait’s massive oil reserves.
  6. The word pearl, as with many English words, is derived from a Latin word.  In this case, the Latin word for the thigh-bone, which was given to the thigh shaped oyster.
  7. Pearls come in a variety of shapes which are classed as: circled, oval, pear, drop, semi-round, round, button and baroque.
  8. Harvesting Pearls will not kill the mollusc, in fact, the mollusc will be re-implanted again to produce even more pearls with every chance of being part of the next quality pearl necklace to hit the UK.
  9. Pearl colour originates from the colour of the inside of mollusc they are growing in.  The colours range from gold to white, through to purple and black.
  10. No two pearls are alike, every pearl is unique and contains imperfections.  Being unique is part of the charm of quality pearl jewellery. 
  11. Pearls are considered to the only gemstones to be made by living animals.
  12. The famous Jacques Cartier 5th Avenue store was purchased by trading in two pearl necklaces.
  13. Virtually every pearl harvested today comes from cultured pearls, which is good news for wild pearl producing molluscs which were largely devastated by the pearl fishing industry.
  14. The technique to farm pearls is known as “Periculure”.
  15. Perhaps the most famous pearl story originated from Cleopatra.  Legend tells us that Cleopatra bets Marc Antony that she could provide a banquet which cost more than the assets of some countries.  She won the bet by removing her pearl earrings and dissolving them in a glass of vinegar, which she then proceeded to drink.  At that time those pearl earrings are estimated to be worth around 10,000,000 sesterces or $30 million in today’s money.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Otomo to Stop Selling Diamonds

Otomo Jewellers are opting out entirely from the diamond-selling business to avoid any involvement in ‘blood’ or conflict diamond selling.

The Edinburgh based boutique jewellers are leading a change in the jewellery industry by refraining from stocking or selling pure diamond jewellery. They will continue a variety of precious stone jewellery which is created ethically. They will also be continuing to supply diamond stone alternatives such as moissanite.

Commenting on the announcements, Otomo managing director Jonathan said, “Otomo have decided to remove themselves entirely from the very tarnished diamond industry. We no longer want to be involved in an industry that can at times involve or fund violence and bloodshed. Our customers are also not interested in giving gifts that potentially fund rebel groups or evade any type of regulation or are anything other than ethical diamonds. In today’s marketplace, we cannot guarantee that the diamonds we source are ethical.”

He went on to say, “It is extremely difficult to accurately track the origin of a diamond and there are many fraudsters in the diamond industry. Those who are the first level of purchase cannot always know who is who, let alone others further down the buying line. It’s for this reason that we have decided to take a stand and remove ourselves entirely from this part of the jewellery industry.”

“In some cases, these illegitimate funds are a source to buy weapons and ammunition to overthrow local governments. From day one we have been working hard to avoid all contact with such diamonds, but these days, that is not a guaranteed outcome. We are also aware of the price gauging, the monopolisation and resulting pressures that are put on young couples to choose artificially priced diamond engagement rings. We do not want to support this and want to lead the way in stopping it."

Over 20% of diamonds are thought to be from or processed in countries that have rogue regimes governing them. The funds are associated with funding war crimes or other crimes against humanity including those committed by government forces. Although there is a regulation in place to attempt to keep diamonds legal, there is not a way to entirely prevent the legal trading of blood diamonds in the precious stone market.

Otomo will continue to focus on providing precious stones and pearls to their jewellery customers.