What Do You Know About Pearls?
Big Jewelry Savings
There was a little girl,
And her name was Pearl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
I use to say that poem to my older sister when I was little. She was older than me but that didn’t stop my chatter. I do miss Pearl who passed away a few winters ago.
Pearls are big in literature. You have heard of the Pearl of Great Price in the New Testament (and in your scriptures if you are LDS). We know we shouldn’t cast our pearls before swine, right?
Let me modify a story from the way I heard it so I can include pearls: A young man found an old man dying in the Sahara Desert. He dismounted his donkey and gave the old man water. Then he moved the old man to an oasis where he would have figs to eat and water to drink until his caravan came back looking for him. The old man offered the boy all the small stones he wanted from his bag. The boy decided the old man was crazy and he needed no stones but he took a four or five stones and put them in a small bag the man gave him, thinking, I’ll chuck these later.
When the boy got home, his mother was crying. She said she couldn’t figure out how she could feed the boy’s brothers and sisters. The boy’s father was killed in a hunting accident and no longer supported the family. The boy said that God would provide and went to bed, tossing the small bag of stones on the table.
Suddenly, his mother woke him abruptly and said, “Where did you get this little bag, Ammon?” Half awake and half asleep he said, “Oh, the stones. An old man gave them to me in the desert.”
She said, “What old man?
He told her the story of the rescue.
She said, “These are not stones, Ammon! They are pearls of great price!
Ammon smiled and said, “Well, Mother, I’m glad I took some stones but I wish I had taken a lot more!”
How Much Are Pearls Worth?
Years ago Cartier bought an old mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City where the store now stands. He paid for it with a double strand of natural pearls worth one million dollars in 1917 (as I remember). So pearls can be costly.
Natural pearls are very rare. They are found in various parts of the world but they are few and far between. Most all pearls are cultured pearls cultivated in fresh or salt water in China, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Natural pearls can not be distinguished from cultured pearls except by X-ray examination so you can tell everyone your cultured pearls are natural pearls and they can have them for one million dollars. O.K., Just Kidding! Anyway, they might have them X-rayed which would show the true structure.
Synthetic pearls lose their luster with time, are smooth rather than rough, and if you are buying them at the dollar store, they are synthetic for sure. My wife’s caregiver, Georgia, says you can tell by rubbing them against your teeth.
I had a natural or cultivated pearl years ago. I got it while eating oyster stew. I had it appraised, small as it was, and it was worth $18 according to the local jeweler. The stew was of the canned variety and the manufacture assured me that the pearl was not harmed by their processing. There was some shell with the pearl but since it didn’t break my teeth, I didn’t ask for damages.
I purchased my wife a string of cultivated pearls in Korea. We Korean War veterans, who where ignored when we got home from the war (patriotism was not popular or commercialized then), are greatly prized in Korea so we usually get a good deal. The jeweler wouldn’t even let me catch the tram back to my hotel. He brought out the family car and drove me over there.
I was glad to get the pearls in Korea because we had been “monsoon-ed” out of a trip to Pearl Island in Japan. I probably got a much better deal anyway. Most of my wife’s jewelry had disappeared but I’m not inclined to blame anyone. But is gone. It can be hell to be old.
Pearl jewelry was loved by royalty and the rich and famous. Museums are full of the good stuff, crowns, coronets, necklaces, broaches, rings and such. Pearl Jewelry is loved by brides. There is nothing like a pearl necklace with that bridal gown. Cultured pearls are great gifts for special days, etc. I think I was going to make a ace tack with my little pearl. Well, I’m not going to dig for it.
Valentine Day and Mother’s Day are coming up. Think about pearls!
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