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Pearl Strands

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Pearl Strands

Aquarian Pearls specialises in the sale of pearl strands and these are one of our best selling items.

Pearl strands can be uniform in size or graduated from smallest to largest in the centre of the pearl strand usually with a two to three millimetre graduation in size. A graduated pearl strand is equally as popular as an uniform sized pearl strand.

In composing a pearl strand, we match the pearls for size, shape, colour, lustre, and skin quality:

• A white pearl strand in our inventory is composed of Japanese akoya pearls, or Australian south sea cultured pearls or Indonesian south sea cultured pearls.
• A black pearl strand in Aquarian Pearls stock is composed Tahitian pearls with a variety of colour overtones so much more vibrant than plain black.
• A golden or champagne or cream coloured pearl strand in our stock is composed of Philippine or Burmese south sea cultured pearls.
• A freshwater pearl strand in Aquarian Pearls inventory is made up with Chinese freshwater pearls.

Pearl strands that are graduated often are started by picking the centre pearl. The centre pearl on a graduated pearl strand determines the rest of the look of the pearl strand.

In more usual average sizes creating a pearl strand is relatively easy but in rarer shapes such as are used in the creation of baroque pearl strands or larger pearls over 14 millimetres in diameter, then making and finishing a pearl strand can take years as one selects pearls from multiple harvests over a period that can sometimes last three, four, or five years.

Kokichi Mikimoto born in January of 1858 was the founder of the modern cultured pearl industry in Japan and his farms and retail and wholesale business sold millions of dollars worth of akoya cultured pearl strands and akoya cultured pearl earrings, cultured pearl rings, and cultured pearl brooches.

Mikimoto worked tirelessly promoting his precious pearls, and the likes of Marilynne Munroe, Grace Kelly later Princess Grace of Monaco, wore his pearl strands in publicity photos to help grow the American market for akoya pearl necklaces and strands.

In Japan it was traditional for ladies coming of age at 21 or graduating from school or college or getting married, to celebrate these landmark events wearing akoya pearl strands and akoya pearl jewellery.

In Chicago a company specialised in splitting up finished pearl strands and then selling them one or more pearls at a time for many years until the recipient could own a whole finished pearl strand and this business was called add a pearl. An easy way to give a gift of a pearl strand little by little each year to a daughter who eventually can wear the whole pearl strand on their 18th perhaps or 21st birthday!

Many companies have specialised in faux pearl strands made in a factory rather than in an oyster. These are of lesser value and price but very popular especially if the owner does not wish to travel with their real jewellery. Coco Chanel that great fashion icon from France is said to have never gone out without her pearl strands on and she wore multiple pearl strands, some faux, some real, and really set the fashion trends for millions worldwide.

Prior to Mikimoto inventing and originating the cultured pearl business, the whole pearl strand business revolved around the natural pearl trade. Natural pearl strands have been traded for several centuries , millennia even, and essentially there were always pearls wherever there were molluscs and oysters and so they were relatively easy to acquire and there was always a trade in natural pearls all over the world. Famous stories abound of pear strands being worn by Indian Maharajahs, Hollywood stars, European Royalty, Prominent politicians, and so on through the ages.

The Cartier brothers famously swapped two natural pearl strands with a customer in exchange for a town house on fifth avenue in Manhattan that to this day is Cartier’s flagship New York store.

Tahitian pearl strands are very desirable and beautiful. A Tahitian pearl strand can be all one colour that can take years to finish or multicoloured. A multicoloured Tahitian pearl strand is a beautiful item. The rich vibrant colours cultivated in the Pinctada Margeritifera oyster throughout French Polynesia make exquisite pearl strands. It is the contrast of colours that makes multicolour Tahitian pearl strands so popular. Tahitian cultured pearls come in so many different colours so that although they are termed black pearl strands they often have the following colours… red, green, pistachio, blue, silver, pink, purple, and peacock green and so these pearl strands look magnificent.

Golden pearl strands are equally magnificent and some from Burma and The Philippines.

The pearls are cultivated in Pinctada Maxima oysters the same as in Australia but whereas pearl strands from Australia are predominantly white or silver in colour, pearl strands from Burma and The Philippines are deep golden, light cream and lighter golden and champagne in colour. Growing each year in popularity and a perennial favourite in the Asian market, golden pearl strands are so very beautiful and stunning.

Australian pearl strands are sometimes the largest white strands in the world. An Australian pearl strand holds the world record for highest price paid at auction from the 1990’s when a magnificent Australian pearl strand sold at Sotheby’s New York for over two million dollars.

The largest strand this writer has seen and bought and sold measure 18 to 21 millimetres and these sorts of pearl strands are exceptionally rare and make a huge impact when seen and touched.

The average sizes for Australian pearl strands are 12-15 millimetres and the average size for Indonesian pearl strands, cultivated from the same Pinctada Maxima oyster as in Australia, is 9/10-12 millimetres.

Chinese freshwater pearl strands are quite prolific and lower in value than their south sea pearl strand counterparts, yet for their price are exceptionally popular.

It has been a rising trend in 2021/2022 for young men to wear chinese freshwater white strands or Japanese akoya cultured pearl strands. This trend of men wearing pearl strands is widespread and growing in America, Europe and Australia and seems particularly popular amongst musicians, sports stars and models and actors.

The Indian Maharajahs with their sumptuous multilayered rows pf natural pearl strands worth several millions in todays marketplace would have the last laugh having started the trend for men to wear pearl strands over three centuries ago as a display of wealth and power.

If you are born in June, pearl is the official gem of the month and so a pearl strand would make you an excellent present if you like pearls that is!

Whatever your taste in pearl strands , we at Aquarian Pearls will be happy to serve you and show you our wide range of pearl strands from diverse geographical regions bit all of the highest quality and readily available on our website at www.aquarianpearls.com.au and in our Sydney showroom.