- Chemical composition : Calcium carbonate and organic compounds.
- Hardness : 3
- Crystal System : Microcrystalline. Pearls are produced by bivalve molluscs (naturally or by culture).
- Deposits : Akoya, Australia, Tahiti, Mabé, Keshi, in fresh water.
- Colors : Silver, White, Blue, Champagne, Cream, Yellow, Brown, Black, Peach, Pink, Green.
The pearl was used for the first time in Prehistory. It was during excavations on tombs dating from the Paleolithic that the oldest pearl stone was discovered, not as jewelry or necklace. The stone was sewn directly onto clothing with an accompaniment of shells. The Paleolithic sites where the ritual could be observed are mainly located on the Madeleine in the Dordogne, Grimaldi in Italy and in Russia on the site of Sungir.
In Russia, it was a vast camp whose appearance is estimated to have occurred more than 32000 years ago. The site contained the grave of an adult accompanied by two children who were buried together. The two children and the adult were entirely covered with thousands of stones on the different clothes they wore at the time.
During an archaeological mission led by France in the United Arab Emirates, various excavations may have been carried out at the site of Ummah al-Qaiwain. Once again, excavations uncovered a well-known stone inlaid on the skull of the deceased. It is estimated that the use of stones in rituals was carried out as early as 5500 BC. On diametrically opposed sites, it was therefore common to observe stones in a funerary context.
In the Persian Gulf region, funerals were accompanied by stones that were delicately placed on the skull of the deceased, but during the fourth millennium, the use of stones did not cease, but rather they were used in the palm of the hand. According to the culture of civilization, stones have always been used throughout history.
Around 2300 B.C., the Chinese appreciated it because it was considered a gift from nature. Moreover, there are very numerous Chinese inscriptions since ages, going in this direction, as well as many Hindu texts relating to the use of stones, because it would confer a privileged link with the god Krishna, who would be at the origin of the discovery of the stone.
When we look at the Egyptian civilization, 4000 years BC, it is also frequent to find the use of the mother stone in decoration. The use of gemstones by the Egyptians dates back to the fifth century BC, always for decorative purposes, as the stone was associated with a sign of purity. The Roman civilization regularly used stones, associated with symbols of prestige and wealth, it was intended for noble people, having a certain rank in ancient Rome.
To wear a stone, one simply had to deserve it.
The Greek civilization appreciated the extraordinary beauty of stones and associated them with happy events such as weddings. It was a very strong sign of love and the stone was an essential element.
The Arab civilization considered that the stone had a very strong value, they are described in the Koran, as one of the most precious treasures provided by paradise. As the civilization was settled along the Persian Gulf, they had at their disposal many oyster beds, allowing them to have an abundance of oysters.
In America, the Indians appreciated the fresh water stones, abundant in the different rivers and lakes of the region. It was moreover frequent to offer stones to a person who had a great value.
At the time of the French, Spanish and Portuguese colonies, the various researches and excavations have shown that the natives were trading with the stones of their region. After further research, it was revealed that the water stones from the Caribbean, especially from Tahiti, were of a higher quality than those found in Europe, with the advantage of having many sites where they could be obtained.
Settlers were also able to appreciate the different sea stones from the Caribbean Sea, although in abundance until a few centuries ago, harvests were greatly reduced due to over-consumption and pollution that appeared at the end of the 19th century.
Highly valued by ancient civilizations, their value took an important turn when Japanese researchers in the late 1800s highlighted different techniques for creating stones by growing oysters. Kokichi Mikimoto is the one who has managed to associate his name with history by successfully creating and marketing cultured stones.
He truly revolutionized the history of stone by democratizing its access to the greatest number, while it was rather reserved for an elite in ancient civilizations, the creation of stone was facilitated. The largest pearl ever discovered is that of Allah, fished in 1934 off the Philip Islands.
Produced by certain molluscs such as oysters, but also mussels, the Pearl stone is a small ball of mother-of-pearl with colors approaching white or gray, its diameter varies greatly.
In order to produce this small very appreciated stone, it must be in contact with an irritating object, generally sand or a clot that seeps inside its shell. In order to protect itself, the oyster will naturally secrete mother-of-pearl in order to completely cover the intruder. It is on this principle that the pearl is formed. But it is a rare process, because the oyster has to be irritated by an external object.
The shade of the stones varies according to different factors. It is possible to obtain a white hue by passing through black, as well as very surprising colors such as green and blue. Depending on the species of mollusc, but also on its environment, the nuances will be more or less pronounced and will be oriented towards a very particular hue. Secondary colors also called strokes, are shades appearing around the basic color, in the form of a translucent layer, they are not systematically present on the pearls.
An optical phenomenon of iridescence is thus evoked when talking about mother-of-pearl more known under the general term of orient, it is related to the appearance of layers of aragonite. The more they are important, the more pronounced this optical phenomenon will be.
There are many other variants of stone, among the best known being the Tahitian pearl produced in French Polynesia, with a larger size and diameter and rather dark colors. South Sea pearls, freshwater pearls, Keshi or Melo pearls, are highly sought after for their rarity and beauty. Depending on the geographical location of the mollusc, the hues and general appearance of the stone will vary.
Pearl Meaning and Properties
Pearl Metaphysical Properties
When the stone has a white surface, it is automatically associated with a sign of purity and spirituality. If, on the other hand, it has shades of beige, then it is associated with a virtue of softness and soothing functions.
When the white stone has this time shades of gray, it has the virtue of discretion and modesty, qualities much sought after in some ancient civilizations. The white stone possessing pinkish nuances is directly associated with love, tenderness and affection. The white stone with green reflections is very sought-after because it naturally calms anxieties and has soothing virtues.
It is very often used within the framework of relaxation. When it is white with surface reflections tending towards blue, it is the creative and artistic side which will be underlined and associated with the white, generally in round. Finally, the black stone, contrary to certain preconceived ideas, is meant to be protective with very important psychological and physical benefits. It is used in very many civilizations, it can be worn as jewelry, like a necklace, to have it permanently on you.
Pearl Healing Properties
The stone is associated with a relaxing effect with a direct contact on decalcification problems. The various virtues associated with the stone are not new, it is a soft, tender stone associated with the feminine spirit which is besides used regularly for the states of sadness and nervousness.
It is in India where the benefits on the physical level were multiple, against sight disorders, blood disorders, Hindu medicine turned very early to the properties of the stone in order to use it to revive the energy and essential functions of the body. The Maharal of Prague also used the stone in many circumstances. The maharal, recognizing the associated virtues.