Pearls & Shells

Pearls have been worn as jewelry and given as gifts since 2300BC as one of the earliest gems of record. Elizabeth Taylor's famous La Peregrina, a 16th century pearl, sold for US$11.8 million, Natural and cultured pearls occur in a wide variety of colors. The most familiar are white and cream, but the palette of colors extends to every hue. Natural pearls form around a microscopic irritant in the bodies of certain mollusks. Cultured pearls are the result of the deliberate insertion of a bead or piece of tissue that the mollusk coats with nacre.