The Historical Freshwater Pear
Pearls that come from freshwater mussels are popularly known as freshwater pearls. A majority of freshwater pearls can be located in China, Japan, Scotland and the United States.
The freshwater pearls are cultured in a mussel usually in a lake. They can also be found in rivers and streams. The traditionally cultured pearls are often found in the oysters residing in the ocean. These are called Akoya pearls. Freshwater cultured pearls are cheaper than the Akoya pearls.
Freshwater mollusks more often than not have pearls that are so marvelous to behold in terms of luster and color. The usual color of freshwater pearls are pastel shades of pink, peach, lavender, black, white, purple, plum and tangerine. The color really depends on the kind of mussel the pearl was found.
Also, some types of freshwater pearl mussels can produce dozens and dozens of pearls all at one time. The local freshwater pearls
One mussel can actually have a maximum of 50 pearls. Saltwater pearl-bearing oysters known as the gonad still contain freshwater pears. That is because one side of the bivalve consists of 25 nucleations at a given time.
Natural freshwater pearls are rarely perfect in shape. They are somehow round or nearly round, never a perfect circle. Oftentimes, they can be considered as baroque, wings or slugs.
The pearls obtained from these freshwater mussels may either be natural or cultures. Either way they have beautiful colors and produce an appealing luster. It is common for freshwater pearls to have a wide variety of colors as mentioned in the previous paragraph, but the in demand colors are the pastel pinks, lavenders, roses and purples.
Not only do they come in an array of colors, they also come in various shapes. Some freshwater pearls are button shapes then there are others of flat flakes and rice shapes even. And since the freshwater pearls are rarely round, whenever there is one that is a perfect circle or something close to it, then that is generally more expensive.
Freshwater pearls have been part of history. In fact, they have been considered to be precious all over Europe, Asia and America for thousands of years. By the turn of the 20th century. Freshwater pearls were made into buttons in the Midwest.
Just to give you an insight on how precious freshwater pearls have been over the years, here is an example:
Mary, Queen of Scots, actually had a gold necklace made from natural freshwater pearls. The necklace had 34 natural pearls that were found in the River Tay in Scotland. While she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots showed the necklace to the Duke of Norfolk.
In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, there was an abundance of freshwater pearls in Scandinavia, Scotland, Germany and Russia. The nobility often had jewelry made from freshwater pearls. These were also bartered to other countries all around Europe because of the trade exploration that had grown popular at that ear.
While in the East, Chinese pearl farmers were molding tiny Buddha images from the pearl mussels they have obtained. This resulted to the Buddha bluster pearls which turned out to be the world’s first ever cultured pearls.
In the 1800, rulers from the Oing dynasty, especially those residing in Manchuria, considered the marine pearls to be prizes. Pearl culturing were popular in China around that time.
After the first world war, pearl farmers started cultivating freshwater pearls by utilizing the native pearl mussels located at Lake Biwa in Kyoto, Japan. Until now, Biwa pearls has become synonymous to freshwater pearls.
The peak of the production of the freshwater pearls were in 1971 when the pearl farmers in Biwa produced six tons of cultured pearls.
Nowadays, freshwater mussel shells are the materials for beads. That is why pearl farmers the world over are always on the look-out for freshwater mussels. The more cultured the pearl, the better.
Sadly, in North America, more than 35 kinds of pearl mussels are already nearing extinction, mainly because of pollution and marine destruction. Conservatives aim to protect the remaining freshwater pearl mussels.
Nowadays, because of the history of freshwater pearls and the value it has obtained throughout the years, jewelry made from this material is still considered to be one of the top-selling pearls.
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