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Pearl Colors: A Rainbow Beyond White

Pearl Colors: A Rainbow Beyond White


Pearls come in more colors than one can count. Part of the allure of owning pearls is that each one is unique. Like people, pearls are never clones (not yet at least) and their color is one of their most striking qualities. Because of the natural material, each pearl must be expertly matched underneath fluorescent lights in order to find a pair.

Sometimes a pearl's color changes when you spin the pearl. One side of the pearl may be copper and the other green. These pearls are generally thought to be lower in value and are hard to come across unless you are looking through a substantial lot of loose pearls.

Pearl Fun Facts

pearl_photo.jpg
Pearl is the birthstone for the month of June and it is generally accepted as the wedding anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years or marriage. The pearl has been a symbol of sacred power and the goddess of love for hundreds of years. In the ancient Mediterranean world, shells and pearls were often symbols for the great goddesses. As the pearl is born from the oyster so was Aphrodite born from a marine conch.

Tahitian Pearls

 

"Rainbow" Iridescence

Rainbow Iridescence pearls
The best example of the possibility in pearl color is captured in the baroque shape. Baroque implies that the pearls are not completely round and are generally either drop shaped or circled. Because of the more freeform shape, these pearls capture rainbows of color. The colors dance and change according to the lighting. One of the traditional metaphors to describe such iridescence, (called "orient"), is to think of gasoline on pavement. What makes baroque shaped pearls even more colorful is that their body color is not always one color. Below is a photo of some loose Tahitian pearls. You can see from the following examples the multitude of colors.
- Tahitian Pearls by PearlParadise

Red

Red pearls
Though there are no bright red pearls, there is a shade of Tahitian pearl called "Cherry," which is truly vamp. These pearls have a ruby tinge to their darker body color. These pearls can be as red as a dark sienna if the body color is also red, or the red can be lighter with a silver body color. Sometimes green is the dominant body color of the pearl and the red is an overtone. These pearls look red at the center with an outline of green beneath. They are rare and hard to find on for sale.

Black

Black pearls
It is very rare to actually see a "black" pearl. Tahitian pearls are often called "black" pearls, but usually the pearl has another color coating its dark surface. However, black pearls do occur and are as dark as a starless sky.

Green

Green pearls
Tahitian Pearls can be either a light green ("Pistachio") or a darker green. When Tahitian pearls have both a green and a copper overtone, they are called "Peacock." Peacock Tahitian pearls are generally thought of as the most beautiful.

Blue

Blue pearls
Tahitian pearls can also be predominantly blue. As with green and all other basic colors, the continuum is large. The blue can be so slight that the color likens the hint of blue in water. Conversely, it can be so dark that the pearl could be mistaken for black.

South Sea Pearls

 

Orange and Gold

Orange and Gold pearls
Golden South Sea pearls capture all hues of Gold and Yellow. Though their overtone is less striking than Akoya pearls, sometimes Golden South Sea pearls can have a green/rose overtone. Other times, they are as dark gold as Egyptian jewelry. Golden South Sea pearls can also be so light that they are more eggshell colored than golden.
- South Sea Pearls by PearlParadise

Akoya Pearls

 

"Never Truly White"

Never truly white pearls
Akoya pearls are generally sold under three different "overtones:" rose, silver and cream. "Overtone" describes the hue that reflects off the white body color. These are just guidelines though. Sometimes Akoya pearls are so "creamy" that they appear almost yellow. Other times their Rose overtones look to be soft pink rather than a faint casting of warmth over white. Silver overtoned pearls capture blue/green dominance. The most attractive white pearls are generally thought to exhibit a combination of silver and rose tones.
- Akoya Pearls by PearlParadise

Freshwater Pearls

 

"Lavender and Pink"

Lavender and Pink pearls
Freshwater pearls appear naturally in pink and lavender. Within these two general terms is a spectrum of variation. Sometimes "pink" is more coral and thereby labeled "Peach." Though the most common examples of naturally colored Freshwater pearls are lavender and pink, there are also "Exotic colors." These exotic colors can be orbs of gold, lime, teal and saffron yellow. In this strand of exotic colors, you can see the many variations.
- Freshwater Pearls by PearlParadise

The $8 Million Dollar Arco Valley Pearl

arco_valley_pearl.jpg
It has been passed down for 800 years, from Chinese emperors, Persian kings, the grandson of Genghis Khan and Marco Polo. It recently went up for auction in May of 2007 where it was estimated to be worth up to $8 million dollars. The Arco Valley Pearl isn't the world's largest though... The 9.45-inch Pearl of Allah takes that honor. It was found by a diver off the Philippine island of Palawan in 1934.
VIA - ABC News

Capturing the Colors of Pearls

Looking through our almost 900,000 named colors here at COLOURlovers, you can see that the range of colors in a pearl have been inspiration to lots of people. Here are a few of the thousands of pearl inspired colors:
pearl Pearl
Pearl Pearl
Pearl pearl
Pearl pearl
Pearl pearl
 
 

Pearl Information and Photos Sponsored by PearlParadise.com


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9 Comments
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

retsof

If you are going east-west across the middle Tennessee on the interstate, watch for signs on the west shore of the Tennesse River. It's that exit. The only cultured pearl farm in the U.S. is a few miles from there. The farm tours were too expensive, but the sales room and little museum is worth the trip. Prices for the pearls are very reasonable. We came out with a lavender set.

Faerenach

Honestly, who doesn't have pearl colours??
Pearl_Earrings
Pearl
Pearl_Choker

interhuss

South Seas Pearls

Thanks for the inspiration!

Sylke

I love those blue Tahitian pearls! I've never seen those colours before!

As for pearl colours/palettes - not quite pearl but almost:
Mother of pearl
Mother of pearl II

luffly

pearls! so beautiful. the colours of mother of pearl shells have fascinated me since I was a little child...although those aren't actually pearls...but that's okay.
this is such an awesome article. I think besides the "never truly white" pearls, the gold ones are the best.

wingedvictory

Thanks for this information. I absolutely love pearls! (Even more than diamonds.)

Hair Color for Cats

Her name was Mia. She dropped everything. Including a black pearl in Baltimore. All she said was oops.

Jie Bai

I'm Jie Bai from China.I get more acknowlege from you.Thank you.
And I love this rainbow pearl,especially chain bracelet .
When girls wear it,they feel like a princess from sea.

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