Pearls are the gem of queens!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Introducing Oh My Pearls—freshwater, cultured pearls hand selected from pearl farms in Asia! Now you can have that elegant pearl necklace you've always wanted—at a completely affordable price.

Why sell pearls at a craft store? Why not, we ask! First off, pearls are gorgeous, and we're all about that. And second, they're classy! Who doesn't love the combo of scrapiness and classiness all in one stop?

Here's a little about our pearls:
Our pearls come from pearl farms in China, which leads the world in pearl distribution. A pearl is created when a small irritant makes its way into the mantle tissue of a clam, causing it to produce "nacre." Through a process of several years, nacre builds more layers, eventually forming a pearl.

Cultured pearls differ from natural pearls because natural pearls are formed 100% by Mother Nature—and are much more rare and difficult to find. Cultured pearls receive help. Pearl farmers will manually insert an irritant into the clam, thus jumpstarting the creation of a beautiful pearl. Today, almost all pearl sales are cultured pearls. And freshwater pearls tend to be more durable and chip-resistant than saltwater pearls.

Pearls with a "AAA" grade rating are considered highest-quality, with a nearly flawless surface and high luster. "AA" still has a high luster, however the surface may have more visible defects. "A" is the lowest-grade, having a lower luster level and more defects on the surface. Pearls in the "A" grade are often the cheapest priced.

Pearls also come in several different shapes, the most common being Round and Near-Round, however other pearl shapes are found as Oval, Button, Teardrop, Semi-Baroque and Baroque. The shape of the pearl is one of the determining factors of its value; round and near-round tend to be the most prized due to their rarity. The pearls we have chosen to carry at Oh My Crafts are as close to round as possible. (Read more on pearl shapes at Pearl-Guide.)

Interested in pearls but not sure how to care for them? Here's some simple tips that will keep your lovely pearls looking elegant no matter how long you've owned them:
• Always put your pearls on after you've applied your make up, perfume, hairspray, lotions and creams. The chemicals in these cosmetics can dull the luster of your pearls.
• Wipe your pearls down with a soft, lint-free cloth on a regular basis. Extra dirty pearls can be cleaned by dampening your cloth with a mild soap and water solution. Allow your pearls to air-dry before putting them away.
• Never clean your pearls with harsh detergents or cleaners that contain ammonia.
• Do not use ultrasonic cleaners to clean your pearls.
• Avoid storing your pearls with other jewelry, as they can get scratched easily by metal. It is recommended you store your pearls on a soft surface.

So go on. Indulge in the inner queen you know you are! Our pearls come in a variety of sizes (measured in millimeters) and lengths. We just know you're going to love 'em.

Happy pearl-perusing!

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