The Art Deco style of jewellery embraces geometric patterns and shapes, and was made famous in the 1920s and 1930s, and is still highly popular today. Pearls are semi-precious gems that form organically in molluscs rather than under extreme heat and pressure underground like diamonds and art deco jeweller.
There are different types of pearls that you can use in jewellery, and if you are looking to purchase pearl Art Deco jewellery, you will want to be able to tell the difference. Below is how you can do that, which will allow you to know what you are buying, so you do not overpay.
Pearls can occur naturally in certain types of molluscs, and they are made from conchiolin and aragonite, which also makes up the shell of the molluscs. The pearl starts off as a tiny spec of dirt or another irritant, and is the molluscs’ natural defence against irritants and parasites entering their shell and damaging them.
Cultured pearls form in the same manner as naturals ones; however, the irritant is artificially added to the molluscs, so pearls form, as not all molluscs have pearls inside. A skilled technician will add a small piece of mollusc tissue and a shell bead from another mollusc and place these inside the creature.
The molluscs are then left to grow the pearls inside before they are harvested for the jewellery industry. Although natural pearls are still used in jewellery, the majority of ones you see today are from cultured pearls artificially grown.
Identifying Genuine Pearls
There is a simple way to identify natural and cultured pearls from costume jewellery and other items with a pearl coating or finish, which is using your mouth. When you run a natural or cultured pearl over your tooth, it will have a gritty feel on it, so you know that it is genuine.
Other items that have a pearl coating will feel smooth, so you can quickly tell the difference. You can find authentic pearls adorning Art Deco style jewellery Sydney antique stores sell. You may also find these beautiful pieces outside Sydney, as there are reputable dealers selling beautiful gems.
However, they may not appreciate you putting those precious pearls in your mouth. Instead, you can ask for a certificate of authenticity if available, and you can also have the jewellery appraised so you know whether the pearls are genuine or not.
Different Types Of Cultured Pearls
There are also various types of cultured pearls from various sources, and some are more valuable than others. Some of the most popular cultured pearls are as follows:
- Akoya Cultured Pearls – These pearls predominantly come from Japan and China and are formed in saltwater. They are used in lots of types of jewellery, and the primary colours used are cream and white.
- Tahitian Cultured Pearls – Tahitian cultured pearls are another popular choice for jewellery. Formed in Tahiti and other Polynesian islands, they are available in various colours, including grey, back, and brown.
- South Sea Cultured Pearls – South Sea cultured pearls predominantly come from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and are saltwater pearls. They can be white, silver or golden colours and are known to be large pearls.
- Freshwater Cultured Pearls – These are the most common pearls used in jewellery and are grown worldwide. They are available in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes, and are popular with many jewellery designers.
For more information on identifying pearls used in Art Deco jewellery, a quick search on Google would lead you to several articles as well as websites where you can learn more about these beautiful gems.