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Get to know your pearls

27.06.2019

Claudia’s pearl designs are created for strong, independent and adventurous women with a passion for living life to the full. With this front of mind, Claudia designs modern and high quality pearl jewellery.

Each piece of jewellery is made with real cultured freshwater pearls, hand selected by Claudia from carefully sourced pearl farms in China.

Did you know that there are 2 types of real pearls? Real pearls are either natural or farmed (cultured) pearls. A natural pearl naturally forms in shells in the sea or freshwater without any human encouragement.

A farmed or cultured pearl also naturally forms in a shell, but is initiated by human intervention. It’s important to note that cultured pearls are grown either in salt water (in oysters) or in freshwater (in mussels).

Most pearls sold today are cultured, just like the freshwater ones we use to make our jewellery. Cultured pearls are the most commonly used pearls in jewellery today, as they are readily available, and due to the ability to control the size, shape and colour of the pearls – as well as the fact that natural pearls are increasingly hard to find, and offer random size, shape and colour.

To offer the best quality jewellery, Claudia personally hand picks all our pearls according to their lustre, surface quality, shape and colour ensuring that each design has the best pearl possible.

LUSTRE

We value the lustre of a pearl above other qualities because this is what makes a pearl beautiful. Lustre refers to the shininess of a pearl – the shinier it is, the better its lustre. When a pearl has good lustre, light travels through its many layers of nacre giving the pearl an amazing inner glow; this is what makes a real pearl so special as this quality cannot be replicated in artificial pearls.

There are two main factors which influence the lustre of a pearl during its growth. The first is the temperature it is grown in- pearls benefit from being cultured in a cooler temperature as this slows down the growth resulting in a better lustre. The second factor is the health of the mollusc that grows it. The mollusc is affected by any pollution in the water and the lustre is the first thing to be compromised. This is why it is so important for pearl farmers to look after the environment surrounding their pearl farms.

SURFACE QUALITY

Surface quality refers to the finish on the surface of the pearl. Only a tiny percentage of pearls have a totally smooth, even surface, the majority are marked with a degree of tiny pits, bands and bumps.

The pearls we use do not have unsightly blemishes but their surface will often be marked and this does not impact on their beauty.

Pearls are a natural product and natural imperfections are quite acceptable, even desirable. We often choose pearls specifically for their imperfect surface as a reflection of their natural heritage and uniqueness.

SHAPE

We use a variety of different pearl shapes in our designs as detailed below;

Baroque – Irregular in shape and surface quality, used in our Ombre Pearl Lariat and Baroque Siren pearl studs.

Button – Round and symmetrical in shape with a smooth surface, used in our smaller stud earrings.

Coin – Flattened disc shaped pearl resembling a coin with an irregular surface, used in our Bedruthan and Luxe designs.

Rice – Oval in shape, slightly narrower at the ends than the centre with a smooth surface, used in our Biography and Sophia designs.

Potato – Distinctively irregular in their shape, used in our Signature heart pearl necklaces.

COLOUR

We use white, pink, peacock and silver pearls across our designs.

Our white and pink pearls are presented in their natural colour and the peacock and silver pearls are heat treated, creating a chemical reaction which results in their finished colour. We do not use dyed pearls so the colour of your pearls will not fade or change.

With such a variety of shapes, sizes and colour we have jewellery to suit all budgets and tastes. Knowing how individual your pearls are makes owning a piece of Claudia Bradby Jewellery even more special.

CARE OF YOUR PEARLS

Finally, caring for your pearls is important. Here a few tricks to keep them in their best condition;

STORE YOUR JEWELLERY IN ITS CLAUDIA BRADBY POUCH. Our monogrammed pouches have been specially created to provide the best possible conditions for your pearls.

TAKE CARE WHEN APPLYING PERFUME. Pearls are very porous, any chemicals can harm them. Perfume and hairspray will affect the appearance and damage the surface of your pearls. Always put your jewellery on after you’ve finished your hair and make-up.

WEAR YOUR PEARLS REGULARLY. Pearls dry out if they are stored away for too long and improve when worn next to the skin, so any pearl jewellery will look better when worn more often. Take care not to moisten your pearls and never wear them in the bath or shower.

POLISH YOUR JEWELLERY. It’s a good idea to invest in a good quality specialist silver cloth and polish your silver jewellery to keep it looking in peak condition.