The American Museum of Natural History in New York offers this extensive Internet resource on pearls as a companion site to a recent exhibit. From finding pearls to fashioning them into exquisite pieces of jewelry, this site is a compendium of interesting information and intoxicating imagery.
What makes some pearls more valuable than others? Where do the many different kinds of pearls come from? What factors contribute to a pearl's color and luster? You'll find answers to these and scores of other frequently asked questions about pearls at this site.
The Web site of K. Mikimoto & Co. Ltd., the first company to create cultured pearls in the late 19th century, is a feast for the eyes. Take a quiz on pearls, learn more about the history of human adornment with pearls, and browse a gallery some of the world's most prized pearl jewelry.
This government site provides details on the current status of freshwater pearl harvesting and the production of cultured pearls in U.S. waters. Those interested will also find a general history of pearls in America, dating all the way back to the time of Pocahontas.
BooksPearls by Fred Ward. Gem Book Publishers, 1998.
In addition to slightly longer forms of Culture of Freshwater Pearls and History of Pearls, this beautifully illustrated, newly updated book has chapters on natural pearls, cultured saltwater pearls, mother-of-pearl and shell products, imitation pearls, and buying and caring for pearls.
The Book of the Pearl: The History, Art, Science and Industry of the Queen of Gems
by George Frederick Kunz and Charles Hugh Stevenson.
Dover Publishers, 1993.
The gemologist Fred Ward (see above) deems this book, which was originally published in 1908, a "masterpiece."
The Pearl Book: The Definitive Buying Guide: How to Select, Buy, Care for & Enjoy Pearls
by Antoinette Leonard Matlins.
Gemstone Press, 1996.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to appreciate and understand pearls and how to avoid unexpected disappointments. A useful book for students, collectors, consumers, and professionals.
Published out of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, this bimonthly newsletter covers the international world of pearling.
Lauren Aguirre, Senior Producer
Kim Ducharme, Designer
Karen Hartley, Hot Science Developer
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