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Glass pearl beads wholesale : Shells & Type of Pearls

Glass pearl beads wholesale : Shells & Type of Pearls

glass pearl beads wholesaleFor thousands of years, human beings have adorned themselves with shells. Many cultures of the world have believed that delicate shell shapes bring fertility, good fortune and safe travel. In today’s urban world, shells represent the essence of summer with their organic, curving forms reminding us of ocean waves and sandy beaches. Many shells have natural perforations and can simply be strung the way they are, while others require modification to enhance their best features and to make them wearable. Shells with iridescent inner layers are often ground into thin veneers and used for mosaic-like inlay, while thick shells are often carved with cameos or patterns. Most shells are porous and accept dyes and varnishes well, which can enhance their natural beauty. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Creatures called molluscs produce shells to protect their soft invertebrate bodies. The mollusc group is very diverse, with over 100,000 species alive today. Molluscs that produce wearable shells include univalves: those with a single shell, like snails, and bivalves: those with a hinged shell like clams, mussels, scallops and oysters. All molluscs have specialized organ tissue called mantle, which secretes calcium carbonate to produce the protective shell. The inner lining of the shell is especially smooth to protect the delicate invertebrate body from irritation. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

The most popular univalve shells used for personal adornment include cowry, abalone, cones, turbo, olive and everlasting shell. Cowry shells are especially well known as they can be found all over the world. These naturally glossy shells come in many colours; one familiar variation is a speckled brown on creamy white. A cowry shell starts out looking like a traditional snail shell and develops into its unique shape as the mollusc matures. These shells are often drilled and strung whole or the backs of the shells are sliced off so the beads will lie flat. Since they were portable, durable and difficult to replicate, cowry shells were used as currency by ancient Chinese, Indian and African cultures. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

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Another popular univalve shell used for personal adornment is abalone. The scientific name for abalone, “Haliotis” means “ear of the sea” and refers to the flattened shape of the shell. The rough outer portion of the abalone is ground down to reveal the stunning inner layers of the shell. The nacreous inner surface is a silvery blue-green that sometimes contains swirls of pink, orange and lavender. The most vibrantly coloured species of abalone is called “paua” and comes from the waters around New Zealand. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Other bivalve mollusc shells used for personal adornment include species of mussel and clam. Many mussels and clams have brightly coloured shells and are simply drilled and worn. One famous bivalve mollusc is the “quahog clam” that’s white and purple shell are carved into Wampum by North-eastern Native Americans. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

The most popular part of many bivalve shells is “mother-of-pearl”- the nacreous inner lining. As the mollusc matures, the inner surface of the shell becomes coated with iridescent or pearly-coloured nacre, the same material that forms pearls. The rough, plain outer coating of the shell is ground down or cut off, leaving only the luminescent inner layer. Thick layers of mother-of-pearl may be formed into beads, while thinner layers are cut into small pieces and fitted into mosaic beads and pendants. Some mother-of-pearl comes from marine pearl-bearing oysters such as Silver Lip, Black Lip or Gold Lip, but the vast majority comes from freshwater pearl-bearing mussels. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Types of Pearls

Virtually every pearl on the market today is a cultured pearl, grown in either a range of molluscs including salt-water oysters and freshwater mussels. The following is interesting information on each type of cultured pearl on the market today. There are three types of salt-water or marine cultured pearls; South Sea Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and Akoya Pearls. Marine culturing involves seeding a marine oyster’s reproductive organ with a bead nucleus and a small piece of mantle tissue. Marine pearls are left to grown for several years before the pearls are harvested. The majority of pearls used for beading today are cultured freshwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are grown in freshwater mussels and are seeded with the fleshy mantle tissue of a donor mussel. Each mussel is seeded with 12 to 16 insertions per valve resulting in 24 to 32 pearls per mussels after being left to grow for 2 to 6 years. Since freshwater pearls are not seeded with a bead nucleus these pearls are rarely perfectly round. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Salt-Water Pearls South Sea Pearls There are two groups of South Sea cultured pearls: white and black. Pearls from the white group are primarily cultured in the waters of northern Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Their colours range from gold or light-yellow; varieties primarily from the Philippine and Indonesian waters and white or silvery hues; varieties that occur mainly in Australian waters. Pearls from the black group, including the legendary black pearl of the South Pacific, are found over a wide area from the Cook Islands to the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Tahitian Pearls Tahitian Pearls are some of the most beautiful and most unique pearls in the world. They produced by the black-lipped oyster around Tahiti and the French Polynesian Islands. There are no actual pearl farms on Tahiti but many are found in the islands of French Polynesia. The oyster itself is quite large, as much as 12 inches across and up to 10 pounds, which results in larger than average pearls. Tahitian Pearls are unique for their naturally dark colours from charcoal to dark green blacks. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Akoya Pearls Considered to be the classic cultured pearl, Akoya Pearls are cultured in south-western Japan and China. The Akoya oyster is the smallest pearl-producing oyster used in pearl culturing. The resulting pearls also tend to be smaller, ranging in size from 2mm to 11mm and are consistently round or nearly round making them extremely desirable. Akoya Pearls are known for their lustre and their soft pinkish white to creamy silver colours. Chinese Akoya pearl farming has surpassed Japanese production and now rivals Japanese Akoya pearls in quality and quantity. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Freshwater Pearls Freshwater Pearls Freshwater pearls come from molluscs that live in the fresh waters of ponds, lakes and rivers. China, the world leader in freshwater pearl production has been involved with freshwater pearl harvesting since the 13th century. Recently over-harvesting and pollution in China has reduced the number of pearl farming mussels. The availability of good quality and affordable freshwater pearls has been impacted by this environmental disaster. Freshwater pearls come in an astonishing array of sizes, shapes, and colours. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Biwa Pearls

Biwa Pearls are small, uniquely shaped cultured pearls from the freshwater mussels of Lake Biwa in Japan. They were first produced in the 1930’s and at that time the quality of the Biwa Pearl rivalled both natural and cultured saltwater pearls. For many years any freshwater pearl was called a “Biwa” regardless of where it came from. Today this name is often used to describe cultured freshwater pearls of this shape. Other Types of Pearls Keishi Pearls Keishi pearls form when the mollusc rejects and spits out the implanted nucleus before the culturing process is complete. Keishi pearls form in either saltwater or freshwater pearls. Sometimes the implanted tissue breaks up and a separate pearl sac forms without a nuclei. These small freeform pearls are solid nacre and range in colour from silvery white to silvery grey. They are generally small in size and, because they do not have a nucleus to shape the pearl, the resulting shapes vary widely. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

Mabé Pearl or Blister Pearl The Mabé Pearl was named after the mabé pearl oyster which is found in the seas of Southeast Asia and in the Japanese islands around Okinawa. These “half pearls” grow against the wall of the oyster’s shell rather than in the tissue and are also called blister pearls. Once the pearl is fully developed the Mabé is made by cutting the blister from the shell, removing the nucleus, filling the pearl with resin and finishing the back with a piece of mother-of-pearl. Mabé Pearls are used for setting rather than stringing and are much less expensive than other cultured pearls. (refference: glass pearl beads wholesale )

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