Pearls - a mineral of organic origin, formed by the postponement of mineral matter around the foreign body in the mantle cavity of marine and freshwater molluscs. The hardness of 2.5-4.5 on the Mohs scale, density 2.7 g/cm3.
The unusual pearls, above all, is huge compared to other precious stones, the rate of formation. If a diamond or malachite consider their age since the dinosaurs, and in a piece of amber, scientists are finding ancient insects, the pearls appear quickly, within a few decades. This is due to the fact that pearls - an organic product that results from penetration of a conch shell external stimulus (sand or parasitic worms). Sink has no other means of defense, in addition to creating layers of nacre around the aggressor. The purpose of shellfish - immobilize the attacker, depriving it of the possibility of harm the soft tissue inside the shell. And hardly clam understands what a gem a sealed original cause anxiety in the future will be the cause of his death, because after a pearl diver or an employee pearl farms forcibly reveal shell valves, to survive is to create will not be able. Pearl color depends on the original core shell type and location of production - they range from milky white to almost black with sirenevato pink shimmer. There are pearls of blue, gray, pink, yellow ... size is directly proportional to the age of a pearl: about 12 years away for the birth of stone the size of a pea, the appearance of a ball with a diameter of 8-10 mm is about 40 years.
Mining of pearls today, two - search-pearl shells on the sea floor or river used since ancient times in the beginning of the XX century, the Japanese firm's growing Mikimoto pearls. Today most of them are in the world market of goods cultivated on pearl farms in Japan and Australia. Pearl farming has several stages: first, the shell-pearl 2-3 years grown in freshwater "manger", and then placed inside a "seed" - pearl ball, and leave the sink in salt water a few kilometers from the coast. Ready pearl can have any, even angular shape - it all depends on the original image "primer". Cultivation period is between one and a half to three years. On properties such gems in no inferior found fishers, with the shape and quality is often superior to natural samples. That cultured pearls using the American House Tiffany, actively combining pearls with diamonds and Mikimoto, which is made of large pearls of non-standard colors.
The higher the cost of natural pearls is mainly due to increased difficulty of extraction of shells - it has always been considered very dangerous. Today pearl divers - a rare phenomenon, which further increases the value of natural pearls. Before Pearl fishing was an important part of the national economy in many countries, for example, the colonial state - England, Spain, Holland, France - competed in the XV-XIX centuries for the right to possession "pearl mines" in South America, India, and the Caribbean islands. Alexander the Great before the attack on India first conquered the island of Socotra, famous for its black pearls. Pearl and Europe - the Romans got it from the British Isles waters, especially rivers of Ireland. Russia, or more precisely its northern part, also famous for its pearls, which became a national decoration for all segments of society. However, over time the freshwater pearl has become a rarity, today it is produced only in Bavaria and the United States. Most of the marine origin of natural pearls produced in our time in India, Ceylon, Tahiti, in Iran and in the Red Sea. The most valuable kind of pearls - yellow "oriental", produced in the Persian Gulf is on the right to keep the glory of the best divers. Search pearls - Gambling and job security, because only one out of forty shells contain desired. But occasionally, and only ones - up to 80 small pearl in a shell.
The medal has its reverse side: the aging pearls too unlike faster than other gems, and even at the age of pearl handled properly rarely exceed 500 years. Again, this is due to the organic matter makes up most of the stone - they decompose over time, especially the magnificent white balls lose their shine, blacken, and then completely disintegrate into powder. Pearl suffers from bright sunlight, excessive moisture, or conversely, increased dryness, contact with the naked human skin. Restore the lost property is not possible, so pearl jewelry require careful maintenance.
There just poetic titles and magical properties are attributed to a small stone that appears from a modest pearl-shell! Slavs called pearls "tears of joy", considering that the pearl is formed from a drop of water slid down the pistil lily or lotus leaf through the open shell. Chinese believed pearls petrified in the water by moonlight, or dew, fallen from the eyes of the goddess of love. The ancient Greeks believed that it tears a sea nymph. In the ancient world of statues of goddesses like Aphrodite, Venus, Astarte and Isis, decorated with a scattering of pearls as a symbol of femininity and high purity. Pearls are mentioned in the religious monuments of writing - in the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud ... pearl necklace worn in ancient Rome to keep fidelity in China pearls attributed the ability to protect against the evil eye and unreasonable risk, cure diseases of the eye and ear. In Slavic countries, the pearl was a stone, returned to the owner lost the joy of life. Pearl Essence in the Middle Ages was considered a universal remedy for inflammation and fever, and European monarchs took over from the rulers of Egypt and the Roman habit of drinking wine with pearl dissolved in it - it was the highest expression of luxury, and the situation in a glass for the guest of honor Pearl showed purity of mind master. According to legend, pearls associated with his owner, and if the stone is dull and port, the waiting and the man soon, illness or death. Astrologically pearls fits all the signs of the Zodiac, but it should always wear Pisces, Gemini and Scorpio.
Another amazing feature of pearls - this is a truly global popularity. Pearls - a stone that will never go out of fashion, and thanks to a huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes, like he was not only a special royal blood, but also the common people: each was its own kind of pearls. In addition to the actual jewelry, pearls embroidered clothes and shoes, decorated tableware and home decoration. The first mention of pearls - Sumerian tablet dating from 2300 BC In China, pearls used in 22 th century BC, and it had the right to wear only the most senior officials and the emperor. In ancient Rome, with his penchant for extremes of pearls adorned everything indiscriminately: the great emperor Caesar, Nero and Caligula went crazy pearl strands, exchanging large pearls on gold than seriously undermined the economy of the state. Queen Semiramis wore seven strands of pink pearls, and according to legend Cleopatra once on a bet with Marc Antony drank vinegar in a glass of large pearls. In the Indian states of South America, even pearls adorned the walls and ceilings of buildings, the conquerors were in the temple the whole room filled with silver balls. In Europe until the 15th century was considered the most expensive pearl stone, a second wave of popularity he has gained in the Renaissance with the opening of the American pearl stocks. Pearls - a stone of the Christian church, it was used extensively in the robes of priests, and in the decoration of icons and church plate. In Russia were all pearls - from members of the nobility and the higher clergy, to wealthy farmers and merchants. Imperial House of Romanov loved pearl jewelry, special passion burned him Alexandra, prefer pearls to all other stones. Pearl came out of fashion and in the volatile XX century - that pearls have become a symbol of the era of Art Deco, and the famous Coco Chanel made the democratic pearl decoration and a necessary attribute of a modern woman's wardrobe, along with a little black dress. Today, pearl necklaces, earrings, rings are worn around the world, demand is great as an inexpensive pearls and jewelery at high jewellery.