Pearls are the birth stone for June and also given for the 3rd and 30th Wedding anniversary. Prompted by the recent delivery from Silvia Piva in Barcelona, I decided to look at the pearl in a bit more detail.
According to Indian mythology, pearls were dew drops from heaven which fell into the sea and were caught by shellfish. In India , warriors encrusted their swords with pearls to symbolise the tears and sorrow that a sword brings.
Unlike most gemstones, pearls have an organic origin. A pearl is created when a very small fragment of rock, sand grain or parasite enters an oyster or clam. It irritates the mollusk, which responds by coating the foreign body with layer upon layer of shell material.
The colour of the pearl depends on the species of mollusk that produced it , and also on its environment. Most common is white, but they also come in delicate shades of black, cream, grey, blue, yellow, lavender, green and mauve.
Pearls were widely used as medicine in Europe until the 17th Century. Arabs and Persians believed it was the cure for various kinds of diseases as well as insanity. The ancient Chinese used pearls as medicine, believing that they represented wealth, power and longevity. Even today, low grade pearls are ground for use as medicine in the orient.
Silvia often uses pearls in her designs, but in a modern, striking way, which couldn't be more different from the "twin-set and pearl" look of most pearl jewellery. All the designs featured are available on the website or in the shop, apart from the double pearl ring which has already found a permanent home!