Background * History

  • Pearls are one of the earliest gemstones found by prehistoric man, most likely along the coastline of India. Pearls are organic gemstones that are formed by shelled Molluscs, mainly Oysters and Mussels. Pearls are made up of Nacre (Mother of Pearl) which is mostly Aragonite (Calcium Carbonate) and Conchiolin (complex proteins that form Mollusc shells). The name »Pearl« is said to have originated from the Middle English word »Perle«, which in turn came from the Latin word »perna«, meaning »leg«, thought to be due to the ham-leg shape of the bivalve mollusc.
  • Natural Pearls are extremely rare, incredibly expensive and typically small. Therefore people have developed ways to culture Pearls, so that these beautiful gemstones can be enjoyed by many. In cultured Pearls, some tissue or a Mother-of-Pearl bead is introduced into the Mollusc shell. If successful, this process induces the animal to form a »Pearl sac« whose cells secrete a layer of brownish protein called Conchiolin over the irritant. This is followed by the secretion of numerous mineral layers of nacre composed of Calcium Carbonate in thin overlapping plates.
  • Pearls can come from fresh or seawater Molluscs. The beauty of Pearls is that they can be plucked from the shell naturally beautiful, fully-formed and displaying perfect luster with no need to be cut or polished. Before Pearls were cultured by man, they were harvested from the Persian Gulf, Sri Lankan waters, fresh water sources in China and the rivers of Europe. Later, Christopher Columbus discovered Pearls in South America. When these natural Pearls were almost depleted in the early twentieth century, the Chinese and Japanese began to culture Pearls. It takes roughly 3 to 7 years for Mollusks to produce a single Pearl. The color of the Pearl varies depending on the type of Mollusk.

Healing * Metaphysical Properties

  • Some healers use Pearls to help balance body rhythms and hormone levels with lunar cycles, and to harmonize human beings with the natural world.
  • Pearls are also believed to signify innocence and faith.
  • Some people believe that Pearls are perfect for brides because they represent purity, integrity and loyalty.
  • Pearls are widely considered to encourage good health and wealth.


**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

Gemological Properties

Chemical CompositionCalcium Carbonate (CaCO3), organic substances, water
Appearancewhite, pink, silver, cream, gold, green, blue, black; translucent to opaque
Hardness (Mohs)2.5-4
Specific Gravity2.61 – 2.85 (saltwater)
Refractive Index1.52 – 1.66

Origin and Gemstone Sources

  • Japan, China, Australia , Austria, France, Scotland and Ireland.


  • Pearls are soft and should be treated delicately. Never use ultrasonic cleaners or steamers. Wipe gently with a soft cloth after each wearing or for more thorough cleanings, use mild soap and water. If knotted, make sure cord is completely dry before wearing.
  • When storing gemstones or gemstone jewelry, store them inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth separately from other type of gemstones to prevent damage or scratches.
  • It is best to remove any jewelry before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports.
  • Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your precious gems.