One of the nicest things I have ever read about pearls is a comparison of a pearl to a woman. ‘Pearls are like a woman. Once you discover her, you will never stop loving her. '
From the east to the west, royalty and famous people adore natural pearls. And here's some news you will not find anywhere in the English press. I've had it translated from the Arabic newspaper, Dar Alalhayat by an Arabic linguist:
At a recent auction arranged by Christie's auction house in Dubai, Um-Khalthoum (b. 1904-1975), known as “the star of the east" the most famous female singer in the Arabic world, her Pearl necklace sold on the 29th April 2008, for $1.4 million USD, ten times its’ original value! It was a gift from Sheik Zaid ben Sultan, founder of the United Arab Emirates.
Some people are born with an eye for a pearl. Even experience in the trade is not enough though. Some people have what others cannot learn - the gift of “knowing".
They are born with it as some people are born with a gift for music or art or touching the heart of a man or woman. “A novice has much to learn but that he cannot learn".
The skin of of these cool flames glows rather than gleams and its’ qualities are far more subtle than the cold surface of faceted gemstones.
The famous painter, John Singer Sargent (b.1856) who painted wealthy belle Époque beauties, certainly had an eye for Natural Pearls. He used seven brush strokes, each stroke using pigment of a different color to create a realistic painting of a single round white jewel.
An earlier artist with an eye for them, was the seventeenth-century Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer whose absolute masterwork, captures the precise realism of the gem.
The actual body color or hue is no part of the connoisseurship equation, according to Richard W. Wise, world authority on precious gemstones. No particular hue or color is more beautiful than another. What Richard terms Simpatico or compatibility with the skin of the wearer is what's important.
You Judge A Pearl As You Judge A Beautiful Woman. You look for shape, symmetry, skin, complexion. Complexion is the lustre. And then you must look for lasting quality.
Some Pearls have a short life, others last forever. But first and last you look for beauty.
Nobody can tell you what beauty is.
A woman can be flawless, immaculate and have no soul. Such a woman is not beautiful. So it is with a pearl. It is in its’ soul wherein its’ value lies.
The surface is not perfectly smooth. Under magnification, you will see it is delicately rippled. The light, striking on these infinitesimal ripples refracts into a play of colors.
The oyster secretes the nacre which makes up the Pearl in layers, like the inside of an onion and the reflection from the buried surfaces through the outer transparent layers adds to the beauty of the stone.
The quality of the nacre depends on the position inside the shell. The choicest gems are mostly found in the soft parts of the oyster.
It has no intrinsic color in itself. The iridescence comes from the light striking up at different angles from the rippled layers.
When people say that a string is perfectly matched they think they are matched for size and shape.
Any jeweler's boy can match for size and shape! This is mathematics. Pearl devotees will do well to note that matching pearls is not a science, it is an art.
Every pearl has a lifetime. Some lose their lustre in ten years, some in fifty years.
The pearl of soul, of beauty, that Pearl lives for ever. . .
by Evie Hammouda-Eyre