How to recognise a natural pearl
Natural pearl vs not natural pearl … that is the question
On the exterior and to the naked eye, there is no obvious difference between a natural pearl and a cultured pearl. The difference arises from the fact that a natural pearl is formed accidentally and without any human intervention, while a cultured pearl is started by the introduction of an irritant by man, after which the process is continued solely by the metabolism of the living mollusc. In both cases the formation of a pearl is the result of the self-preservation reaction of the mollusc. If it does not get expel the irritant it must cover it in nacre, otherwise it will die.
The chances of finding a
seawater natural pearl are 1 in 5000
The term natural pearl implies accidental formation without any human intervention. A natural pearl is caused by the protective reaction of an oyster or mussel to the accidental introduction of a foreign body into its organism. This reaction starts by the mollusc covering the intruder with epithelial cells which will form a pearl sac around the intruder, the pearl sac deposits concentric layers of nacre that surround the offending object and slowly form the pearl, layer by layer. Natural pearls can be formed in seawater or in freshwater.
Natural pearls occur when a piece of shell, coral, bone or a large piece of grit hooks into the flesh of the oyster, it breaks the surface of the epithelial cells and carries with it epithelial or nacre producing cells. The oyster tries to expel the intruder but if it is unable to dislodge the irritant, this foreign body will start the formation of a pearl. A grain of sand is hardly ever involved in the production of a natural pearl as the oyster lives in sand and can easily expel it. Elisabeth Strack an eminent pearl specialist of our day discovered another way in which a natural pearl can be formed, refer to the diagram shown, if the epithelial cells covering of the mantle is broken and these crucial nacre making cells travel as a group into the mantle, this in turn will form a pearl sac and a natural pearl will be born.
Stay tuned for part 2! Soon you will be an expert!
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From all of us here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we would like to wish you a very joyful Christmas period and a wonderful New Year!
The team looks forward to welcoming you to our showroom from the 5th of January 2017
Coleman Douglas Pearls is in a state of festive fun and cheer with only one week left until the big day! We understand that you will all be running around finalizing the last minute details but hope you manage to squeeze one last visit to us in before the new year! With pearls, champagne, truffles and coffee we are here to help with any last minute forgotten gifts or for those still searching for that one perfect special gift and this quick gift guide can give you a helping hand!
Gifts under £150:
Gifts between £150 – £250:
Gifts between £250-£500:
Gifts between £500-£1000:
Gifts between £1000-£1500:
Gifts over £1500:
Pop into our Beacuchamp Place, London store in the next week and our pearl team will happily help you source the perfect gift and wrap it for you in our luxury Christmas gift wrap!
Our designer Chrissie Douglas has won numerous design awards since starting her career, especially in her Tahitian pearl designs. Chrissie’s aim has always been to offer an investment in style and value by utilising her expert pearl knowledge coupled with an excellent network of suppliers. Her innovative and fresh use of pearls with semi-precious stones and other more unusual materials like leather, silk gauze, wood and felt have produced unique designs.
Out of all the ranges that Chrissie has designed our favourite for the winter has to be the Warrior pearl collection. This collection never goes out of fashion as it is so edgy it enables the wearer to go full on Rock Chick or just to slightly toughen up an otherwise girly outfit. Mainly made from knotted leather and Tahitian pearls this range sure knows how to make an impact. Wear the Tahitian Warrior armband and earrings with your most feminine outfit this Christmas party season and you will be guaranteed to wow your friends.
Our fine jewellery range is also perfect for all the glitz and glam of this time of year. Enhance your natural sparkle with our cognac diamond and south sea necklace – a great transitional piece through the seasons picking up on the golds of Christmas but also delicate enough to wear in the spring and summer. Other great investment pieces include our Tahitian pearl, diamond and rainbow moonstone pendant and matching earrings. The moonstone has a gorgeous adularescence effect where the light travels across the gem changing its colour from apparently colourless to gorgeous blues.
For other final flourishes to your party outfit please bring a photo of you wearing the outfit along to our showrooms where our pearl team can then source the perfect finishing item. Whether you choose to go for an amazing statement necklace or a classic pair of earrings, here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we’ll have the piece for you!
Christmas is nearly upon us with just over a month to go and although some of our pearl team are excited others are really wishing it either wasn’t so close (how on earth is everything going to get done?!) or to just take a break from planning the festivities. Either way Coleman Douglas Pearls have the perfect plan for you – get the snacks ready its Movie night! And because we love all things pearls we thought we would mention a couple of our favourite guilty pleasure films featuring pearls!
First up is Chalet Girl featuring our pearls! This film is a perfect winter choice, no mention of Christmas, but enough snow to make you feel a little excited about the season again. A classic RomCom, especially appealing to any snow sports lovers out there! The pieces worn by the girls in the film are everyday wardrobe staples seeing you through every eventuality you will encounter in life. All three of the main leading ladies can be seen wearing our pearls with Felicity Jones wearing our single classic freshwater strand, Brooke Shields wearing our diamond huggies and Tamsin Egerton wearing our freshwater pendant.
Next is The Princess Diaries . . . . now I know what you’re thinking but hear us out! This film is perfect not only to watch with your girlfriends but also with your daughter. Not only does Julie Andrews live up to her Practically Perfect name but it is the perfect mix of humour and lessons of life, love and friendship. Pearls again feature heavily as any good queen will know an outfit is not complete without pearls. We especially love the mabe pearl earrings Julie Andrews wears and you can pair them with a South Sea strand – you really will feel like royalty!
If you want any further information about our pearls seen on screen please pop into our London jewellery showroom where we have a wide range of pearl jewellery to suit every occasion.
Remember remember the 5th of November . . . . Fireworks night is almost here! Our pearl team can’t wait to get out onto the streets to see some amazing displays! Two of our favourites being the Battersea Park and Southwark displays. The perfect opportunity to see London at its finest – bathed in a multi coloured glow. Speaking of which our pearls are just the thing to set off your winter complexion. Pearls enhance the wearers beauty when the right colour is placed upon the skin so if you think pearls don’t suit you then come in for a consultation with our pearl specialists at 42 Beauchamp Place to ascertain the best colour and tone for you.
A few other events for you pearl lovers in November include Hair by Sam McKnight on at Somerset House. Follow this incredible hair stylist through his 40 year career in the fashion world. After collaborating with the likes of Linda Evangelista and Chanel expect pearls also to feature heavily in the images! Also don’t forget to check out the London Jazz Festival featuring great jazz artists from international professionals to new artists. You know we always tell you that pearls need to be worn – here is the perfect opportunity to cheer up the dark November nights! Cocktails, great music and you will be looking after your pearl jewellery – its a win win win scenario! We will be waiting to hear all the gossip from you soon!
October is breast cancer awareness month – something that all of us here at Coleman Douglas Pearls are very passionate about supporting. Raising awareness for the disease is very important to us so we have come up with a few ways for you to raise awareness at home! Firstly Breast Cancer Care are holding The Big Pink on 14th October this year. This is the perfect opportunity for you to gather your friends and family and host a pink tea extravaganza!
The theme would obviously be Think Pink with a pink dress code, pink pearls, pink food, pink drinks . . . the list of possibilities is endless! Make sure you register to get your free kit and ask everyone to donate generously of course. Either host it at home or convince your boss to turn your workplace into a pink paradise for the day (mention charity and cakes and watch the idea take off!).
On a similar theme are bakesales at the school gates (guaranteed to raise money as kids+cakes+amazing cause . . . ) why not even get the school to help and get the children involved! If baking cakes is not a possibility maybe decorating could be? Or even just getting them to make decorations in class for the aforementioned party could be a great way of getting the younger generation involved and raising awareness.
However if your feeling active why not take part in one of the hundreds of sporting events across the country and raise money that way. Whether it is a 5km race for life, marathon, or even a triathlon, pull on your sports kit and raise money for a good cause! And don’t forget to wear your pink pearls with pride as you cross the finishing line! Also keep your eyes out for our own special take at our pearl jewellery store located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.
We are excited to announce that we have a new selection of beautiful opals at our London Pearl Showroom!
Opals are the stone of inspiration and are meant to inspire the imagination and creativity – and it is easy to see why with their mesmerizing colours. Opal is the birthstone for October and in the Middle ages was believed to bring the wearer good luck.
With their beautiful rainbow colours opals are the perfect complimentary companion to your pearls. Opals pick up on the natural luster of a pearl through their impressive play of colour. Opals come in a range of colours from white to black! Other common body colours include red and orange “Fire” opals as well as blue and green. Black opals are the rarest with the black body colour allowing the best play of colour to be seen.
Our opals are Australian boulder opals which mean that they are not fully separated from their rock matrix.
We mainly have black opals with predominantly blue and green play of colour which set off our pearls – especially our tahitian pearls perfectly.
We also have some truly amazing black opals showing the full colour spectrum from violet through to red.
Opal is a form of silica and the play of colour that you see is due to its internal structure. Opal is actually made up of hundreds of tiny silica spheres in a tightly packed lattice, and the regularity of the size and shape of these spheres determine the opals quality and how much play of colour you can see through the diffraction of light passing through. Smaller gaps between the spheres produce the blue and violet colours and larger gaps give red’s and oranges. The greater the uniformity of the spheres, the more intense and brilliant the colours produced will be.
If you want to pop in and take a look at our opals and pearls we are open Monday – Saturday, 11am-7pm at our store in Beauchamp Place. We can make a bespoke design to meet your individual needs if you can’t find what you are after in store.
In the Autumn we, Coleman Douglas Pearls, will be launching our latest collection “Water For Hot Chocolate”, pairing gorgeous copper brown pearls with smoky quartz and citrine, making the designs so enticing you’re bound to have chocolate cravings!
So with that in mind our pearl team have decided to fully embrace the cravings and are going to talk about all things chocolate!
Being three dedicated chocoholics we could think of nothing better than attending The Chocolate Show in October. Running from 16th -18th October at London Olympia get ready to loosen those waist belts and delve into the wonderful world of chocolate with famous chefs, free tasters and a fabulous chocolate fashion show!
If you can’t wait until October to get your chocolate fix we recommend a good dose of copper pearls and a trip to ‘Chocolatiers to the Queen’ – Prestat. Not only does Prestat produce the most INCREDIBLE truffles in all sorts of fun flavours they also do an incredibly indulgent hot chocolate range! Keep your eyes peeled for our next news update which will surely tempt you chocoholics this upcoming season . . . . .
Whilst the remainder of the summer sun lasts we will try and resist temptation and stick to the fruit at our Pearl Jewellery store. However, as soon as the leaves start to turn and the jumpers go back on we know our faithful friend will be there waiting for us!
The end of summer is officially coming to a close. School is about to start, the nights are definitely shorter. But fear not your summer pearls can have one last hurrah as next week is the last night of the proms – the prefect excuse to wear your Coleman Douglas Pearls necklace to see summer off with a bang!
The BBC Proms are an eight week annual event running throughout the summer season with a classical music concert put on every day mainly in the stunning Royal Albert Hall but also a few chamber concerts at Cadogan Hall and outside events in parks across the UK. The proms were founded in 1895 and is short for Promenade Concert referring to the outdoor concerts in London’s pleasure gardens where people could walk around whilst the orchestra was playing!
These days its a hard fought battle to get your pearls to the prom! Either you are lucky enough to get seated tickets or have season tickets but if your feeling energetic you can also stand. Promming is where you use the standing areas inside the hall where ticket prices are much lower than for the reserved seating. Single-concert standing Promming tickets can be bought only on the day of the concert, which can give rise to the famous long queues for well-known artists or works (us British do love a good queue!).
Either you are able to give your pearls an outing to the Royal Albert Hall (you lucky thing!) or maybe you are planning on going to watch it in Hyde Park? Our Pearl Team also would recommend throwing a Proms party – invite all you nearest and dearest (dress code black tie and pearls obviously . . .) pop on the TV and watch the magic unfold from the comfort of your own home!
If you do throw a Pearls at the Prom party please let us know through our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!