Pearl engagement rings are unique alternatives to diamond or gemstone engagement rings.
Certain women prefer the organic appearance and characteristics of natural or cultured pearls compared to the structured look of most diamonds and gemstones with their hard, faceted edges.
Pearls have a tranquil appearance since they come in round or oval shapes just for two examples.
Certain pearls are completely smooth all around their surface area, while others are a bit bumpy.
The formation of a natural pearl needs no assistance from man.
A foreign object accidentally enters the oyster shell and attaches to the body of the oyster.
It causes irritation and in defense, the oyster takes action.
This creature secretes a hard, smooth crystalline substance to cover the foreign object.
Over time, the layers build up and a pearl is formed with this substance continually covering the irritant.
It is a miraculous process to say the least.
A cultured pearl is formed in a similar manner except that humans deliberately place the irritant into the oysters.
Pearls come from both saltwater and freshwater locations in the world.
Certain parts of the world such as Tahiti and Japan have higher quality saltwater pearls than other areas of the world.
Freshwater pearls are found in a number of different rivers and lakes throughout the world including the United States.
Saltwater pearls are pricier on average than freshwater pearls.
This is something to remember when shopping for pearl rings.
You also will find a variety of shapes in pearls even in the pearl engagement rings.
These shapes include semi-round, round, pear, button, drop, baroque, oval and ringed.
Semi-round and round are probably what most people think about when you mention the shape of pearls.
However, the other shapes have their own unique characteristics to add to a ring.
Button, drop, oval and pear shapes are all types of oblong pearl shapes.
The baroque shape is unique as it is irregular in form.
Ringed shape is oval or round with rings running around the outside of the pearl.
You may be familiar with white pearls, but have you seen the various other colors in which you can find pearls?
Colors in pearls range from white to almost black or black.
Certain colors are natural to the pearls, but pearl also will respond to dye for man made creations color wise.
The color does not drastically affect the value of the pearl.
However, you may prefer one color to another according to your skin tone.
Pearls range in size for small ones up to large ones.
Small ones are ideal for group settings, while large ones are ideal for solitaire settings.
These sizes range from 6.5 mm up to 13+mm.
Select the size that suits your hand size the best.
If you have petite hands, a large pearl could overwhelm your hands. In addition, if you have large hands, a small pearl could be difficult to notice.
Settings for pearl rings come in sterling silver, white gold, gold and at times platinum.
The price of the ring will vary according to which metal you select with sterling silver being the most affordable and platinum being the most expensive.
The price of gold engagement rings containing pearls will depend on whether you select 10K, 14K or 18K gold.
You may have a concern about how well pearls wear over time compared to diamonds or other gemstones.
This is a valid concern as you can damage pearls more easily than you can diamonds and other gemstones.
However, with the correct care, pearls can last for many years similar to diamonds and gemstones.
Be careful not to bang your pearl against hard surfaces, as this could cause the pearl to chip.
This is one big difference between pearls and diamonds.
The diamonds do not chip as easily as pearls do under normal wear.
Remove your pearl ring before participating in physical activities that could cause the ring to chip or crack.
Do not expose your pearl ring to harsh chemicals.
Acid or heavily alkaline solutions will cause the pearl to suffer deterioration in some form.
Wear gloves or remove your ring when dealing with harsh chemicals.
Remove your ring prior to shampooing your hair, bathing, showering or even just washing your hands.
The ingredients of cleansing products could harm the pearl, as it can absorb them into the heart of the pearl.
Ultrasonic cleaners are not ideal for cleaning pearls.
In the event your pearl needs cleaning, wipe it clean with a mild soap that is free of detergent and a clean cloth.
You also may opt to have it professionally cleaned.
You can select a style of ring that only contains the ring setting and pearl or multiple pearls.
However, you can decide to have the best of both worlds by combining diamonds with the pearl for a stunning engagement ring.
Other gemstones such as sapphires, garnets and topazes are just three examples of the ideal gemstones to pair with pearls.
Pearl rings come in everything from thin and delicate to big and bold.
As with the size of pearls, select the ring according to what size looks best on your hand.
You do not want a small petite ring and big hands or a big ring on petite hands.
Buy your ring from a reputable jeweler who can certify the authenticity of the pearl and the setting.
This is the way to ensure that you receive the real item and not some fancy knock-off ring.
There are many substitutes on the market today.
Do not let one of them fool you.
You can opt for the traditional diamond or gemstone engagement ring if you so choose.
However, you may want to consider the lustrous choice of one of the pearl engagement rings that are available on the market today.
Just remember that we would not have the beauty of the pearls if not for oysters becoming irritated!
Pearls have a long and illustrious history throughout the world.
You can become part of this history just by opting for an engagement ring that contains at least one pearl.