11 Most Common Myths About Pearls
Pearls are more than a beautiful and classic piece of jewelry; these are known to be the oldest gemstones on earth. Pearls have their existence on earth much before humans even had written languages. No wonder these are associated with several myths and superstitions.
Almost every culture has myths about pearls, and most of them are related to love, symbolization, existence, and beauty.
Let’s look at some common myths about pearls and their truth.
1. Pearls are always White
Pearls are not always found in white color. The color of the pearls depends on the type of mollusk and the water type in which it lives. Most people consider investing in white pearls because they are expensive. Although, you can also find them in pink, gray, silver & brown colors also. Even black pearls are also available in the market.
2. Pearls can’t be worn on wedding days
Many people believe that wearing pearls on the wedding day can bring bad luck. For them, pearls are a bad omen and symbolize tears that a married woman might shed in the future.
Some people also say that pearls on the string mean that women are welcoming problems and will never resist them in the future. However, it hasn’t proved that pearls have brought bad luck in the life of any newly married woman.
However, we believe that pearls can add spark to any wedding attire. We don’t see it attracting negativity or problems until a groom purchases the pearl jewelry for more than he can afford.
Think yourself; how can an elegant jewel make your wedding life unlucky?
3. Pearls are old fashioned
Pearls can never go out of fashion nor be considered retro. Since the earliest cultivation of pearls (about 520 B.C.), they have always been a popular form of jewelry. Pearls were also fashionable during the Roman Empire as well as Victorian and Georgian times. Today also, pearls are prominent among all genders. Such popularity motivates jewelry designers to innovate with pearl jewelry collections.
4. Pearls can dissolve in vinegar instantly
You may have heard that pearls can dissolve in vinegar. Here is a popular story about it. Once, Queen Cleopatra wanted Marc Anthony to know about her extreme wealth and capabilities of throwing the best banquet in history. To prove her point, she dissolved a pearl in the vinegar and drank it.
Dissolving the pearl in vinegar and drinking it! Weird, right? We would never do that. However, Cleo was Cleo. This famous story is believed to be real by many people.
According to experts, Pearls are made of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). Combining it with an acid such as vinegar will surely dissolve it but not instantly. It will take vinegar a long time to fully dissolve the pearl.
5. Pearls are only round in shape.
Many people believe that pearls are found in perfect round and symmetrical shapes. However, this is not true. You can find pearls in many different shapes, such as off-round, drop, baroque, round, and more.
Round pearls are the most expensive and popular. That is why, most jewelry designers use round pearls during the jewelry making. You get the option to buy pearls in different shapes based on your budget and taste.
6. Ocean Pearls are White, and Freshwater Pearls are different in color.
It is an absolute myth. The place where pearls are cultivated, either ocean or freshwater, doesn’t define its color. The overall color of the pearls depends on the type of oyster. White pearls can be cultivated in both freshwater and ocean water.
7. Pearls should be preserved in an airtight environment.
Another myth we generally encounter is related to how to store or preserve the pearls. Most people think that locking the pearls in an airtight environment can help maintain their beauty for a longer time. However, according to experts, pearls need to be stored in breathable fabric spaces. You can use a satin-lined leatherette envelope or a silk bag to ensure air passage.
8. Pearls can take 6 months to develop
Another myth is that pearls take about 6 months to form. But the fact is that each pearl type has a different development timespan. 6 months is just an average development time. Sometimes, the pearl making process can last for 24 months.
While making the pearl, the farmer carefully implants a tiny nucleus inside the mollusk. After the implantation, the mollusk starts recovering itself. The overall growth of the pearl will depend on the recovery process. After proper recovery, the pearl begins to grow as the mollusk covers the nucleus with nacre layers.
This process differs for each type of pearl. For example, Chinese freshwater pearls can grow up to 5mm in a year, while Japanese Akoya can grow about 0.3mm in the same period.
9. Pearls’ maximum size is between 15.0 to 16.0mm
Pearls are found in different sizes and shapes. But the average pearl size is between 8.0 to 16.0mm. However, it’s not the maximum size of the pearl.
The largest pearl is 660.4mm long and weighs 75 pounds. It is also the world’s most expensive pearl that cost $100 million.
10. Pearl Harvesting can kill Marine Life
About 95% of pearls are cultured which means they are cultivated in the mollusks within a controlled environment. The mollusks are well-cared during the process. Pearl farmers carefully obtain the pearl without killing the mollusks. This way mollusks can create many pearls throughout their lifespan.
11. Pearls were created by Adam and Eve in paradise
It is also believed that Pearls were created by Adam and Eve. One day, the couple cried deeply after God, and their tears created a ‘Pearls’ lake.
According to the story, Eve’s tears created white pearls, and Adam’s tears created black pearls. Being a man, Adam shed fewer tears than Eve, and that’s why black pearls are rarer than white ones.
In reality, we all know that it’s just a story and how pearls are actually cultivated.
These were some most common myths about pearls. Depending on the country where you live, you can encounter other myths too.
Do you know any other myths related to pearls? Do let us know in the comment section.
P.S. Avoid confusion & check the reliability of the pearls. Don't just buy pearls for the beliefs behind them.