About GOLAY Pearls
A pioneer in introducing cultured pearls in Europe as early as the 1920’s, GOLAY has set a benchmark in terms of expertise and selection of high-quality pearls. GOLAY pearls specialists have access to privileged sources and handpick every pearl following a rigorous selection procedure ensuring all criteria are respected to meet GOLAY Pearls quality requirements.
Pearls contain organic substances; they are not particularly fragile but need gentle care to keep their beauty:
- Wipe them regularly with a soft cloth moistened with lukewarm water. Do not clean pearls with detergents. Before using cleaning agents designated to clean cultured pearls, check it with your jeweller.
- Keep Pearls away from hair sprays, perfumes and corrosive chemical substances. Wear your pearls last and only after you have made use of such sprays and perfumes on you.
- Avoid bathing or swimming wearing your pearls.
- Wrap them in tissue paper, or place them in a velvet box or a satin pouch.
Store your pearls separately from your diamonds or precious stones jewellery to prevent scratches as Pearl surface is softer than stones.
- Restring your pearl necklaces regularly to prevent the silk thread to weaken.
- Wear them! Pearls are organic thus need to be regularly worn to maintain their moist.
Pearls found nowadays in jewellery shops are Cultured Pearls. Natural Pearls are very rare because almost extinct, thus those are mainly seen in antique jewellery.
Cultured Pearls, like natural pearls, grow within pearl oysters in a natural and clean environment. While the formation of a natural pearl is the result of a small particle accidentally getting into an oyster provoking the growth of nacre around the particle, the growth of a Cultured Pearl is initiated by man through the implant of a piece of mantle tissue together with a round shell bead. The oyster envelops the implant with layers of nacre and yields a Cultured Pearl.
Japanese Akoya Pearls
The first Cultured Pearls came from Japan, where the techniques of growing pearls were invented and developed more than 100 years ago.
The pearl oyster species used in Japan to produce Akoya Pearls is Pinctada Fucata.
Akoya oysters, no bigger than the hand palm, yield round lustrous pearls from 3 up to 9 mm. They have a pinkish, silver or greenish overtone.
Similar oyster species are found in China and Vietnam, where Akoya Pearls are cultivated too.
South Sea Pearls
In the 20th century, some pioneers adapted and developed pearl growing techniques outside of Japan, in Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. After an interruption during the Second World War, the South Sea Pearl industry experienced significant growth and progress in the cultivation techniques.
Pearl producers found in these oceans bigger pearl oysters, some being as large as a dinner plate. These big oysters named Pinctada Maxima can grow pearls usually from 9 to 15 mm, while exceptional pearls can reach beyond 20 mm. Pearls originating from these oceans are called South Sea Pearls.
Pearl colours depend on the oyster species and the environment they live in. The white-lipped South Sea species yields mainly white pearls with a silver, pink, blue, grey or green overtone.
The yellow-lipped species yields cream, yellow or golden pearls.
The pearl cultivation techniques reached Tahiti, French Polynesia in the 1960s. At that time in the South Pacific Ocean, pearl scientists found a pearl oyster species with dark shells known as Pinctada Margaritifera.
These black-lipped oysters give a beautiful range of dark-coloured pearls, from black to brown, grey or silver blue, some with an overtone of red, blue or green.
Those pearls of dark colours, mostly from 7 to 13 mm and some beyond 15 mm,are usually referred to as Black Pearls or Tahitian Pearls, although they are also cultivated in other lagoons in the South Pacific apart from French Polynesia.
All pearl oysters can produce Keshi Pearls. This phenomenon occurs when the oyster rejects the implanted nucleus but yields nacre around the mantle tissue, therefore Keshi’s shape can be from oddly round to stony. The colours depend of the type of oyster as described above.
While Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian Pearls are grown in oceans, experiments to grow pearls in freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers started in Japan in the 1920s. The first Freshwater Pearls were harvested in Lake Biwa.
Because of industrial development and high production costs in Japan, nowadays Freshwater Pearls are almost exclusively produced in China.
The pearl mussels, not oysters, used for the cultivation of Freshwater Pearls are named Hyriopsis Cumingii. They are white,pink,peach or purple and yield pearls in these pastel colours. Pearl sizes range from usually 4 to 12 mm, with exceptional ones reaching up beyond 15 mm.
In contrast to seawater pearls, the growth of most freshwater pearls is triggered by implants of mantle tissue only, without shell nucleus. As a result, the majority of freshwater pearls are fully made of layers of nacre. Unlike South Sea and Tahitian oyster species that can grow only one pearl at a time over a period of 2 to 3 years, freshwater pearl mussels can yield multiple pearls at once and in a much shorter period of time. This explains their abundance and affordability.
Each pearl is unique.
GOLAY recommends 5 factors to consider when buying pearls,along with your personal taste and budget.
Type of Cultured PearlsChoose preferably White or Golden South Sea, Tahitian – Japanese Akoya – Keshi or Freshwater. Beware of imitations.
Surface conditionFavor completely clean - almost clean or slightly spotted. Avoid heavily spotted or stained surfaces.
NacreGo for thicker coating of nacre.
LustrePrefer excellent or good lustre. The clearer your image reflects in the pearl, the better
Choose uniform and good matching colours or harmonious multicolour combinations
The rounder, the bigger, the cleaner the pearl together with a higher lustre and the rarity of the colour will determine its price.The pearl’s very essence is its nacre and lustre, thus the two main quality criteria to take into account for choosing pearls.
At GOLAY, we do not compromise on these quality factors, therefore you will find a wide range of the finest Pearls matching your taste and budget. Let us guide you in making your choice:
White and Golden South Sea PearlsClassic yet gorgeous and powerful look. You can wear them as a choker or choose a longer length, you will definitely be noticed and make great impression.
Tahitian PearlsFancy look as they come in a wide range of lovely colours, from pastel hues to blue, green all the way to silver, grey and black. When arranged in a multicolour necklace they are rather easy to match with any outfit. With Tahitian Pearls you will always look stylish.
Japanese Akoya PearlsThe original ones, thus the perfect expression of timeless elegance. Their strong lustre with a pinkish or silver overtone is simply remarkable, definitively a must-have in any jewel box.
Freshwater PearlsEasy-going look with their pastel and candy-like colours lilac, purple, orange, pink and white to name a few, they are widely available which makes them an easy and very affordable choice for everyday wear and gifts.
Pearls, beautiful gift of the seas, the most sensual and feminine gems.
Pearls are always Appropriate