Discovering the Treasure of Golden Pearls
September 27, 2011
Biologists may tell us about warning colours in nature and how we are all programmed from birth to be frightened of stripey snakes or red spiders. But have you noticed how we also universally love the warm, rich colours of yellow gold, autumn, honey, sunset and these golden pearls?
Pearls are traditionally white in colour, often being a symbol of purity and worn by royalty and in wedding jewellery. Any fortunate person who has seen a golden South Sea pearl though is sure to remember it. By some miracle or natural sleight of hand, the soft satiny lustre and enchanting orangey yellow tones of these pearls closely resembles the world's favourite and increasingly valuable precious metal.
Golden South Sea pearls are mainly cultured in the gold-lipped Pinctada maxima oyster, named for the honey coloured mother of pearl lining inside its shell. These oysters produce the highest proportion of golden pearls, though some light golden pearls can also be found in the silver-lipped Pinctada maxima oyster. The majority of golden pearls today come from pearl farms in the Philippines and Indonesia, although deeper "burnt gold' colour pearls have also been farmed in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.
A special, sheltered environment is required for culturing South Sea pearls as it can take up to 18 to 30 months to grow each pearl. The best pearl farms are located in remote locations where the water is pristine and there are rich, fresh sources of plankton for the mollusks to feed on. The delicate oysters also need to be protected from other hazards such as typhoons and abrupt changes in water temperature. One of the specialist farmers of golden South Sea pearls is Jewelmer, which has been a leader in the non-extractive, environmentally sound production of golden South Sea cultured pearls since 1979.
The unique opulent and warm colour of golden South Sea pearls is perfectly suited for fine jewellery. Amongst the treasure hoard of designs, the classic pearl necklace remains our most popular, either in monochrome with golden pearls or in multi-colour with white, champagne and golden pearls. Our South Sea pearl necklaces are carefully matched with the glint of yellow gold and pave diamonds.
Naturally golden South Sea pearls should not be treated for colour, however it is possible that pearls found on the market may be dyed. If you fall in love with a golden South Sea pearl, we would recommend that you check that the colour is natural and only buy from a reputable specialist jeweller.