Because a girl is never too young for pearls
The timeless, classic beauty of a string of pearls has drawn many of us into its allure. The beloved pearl, the “Queen of Gems” as it was known for centuries, is the oldest known gem with a 4,000-year history. The Louve in Paris holds pearl remnants from a Persian princess dating back to 520 BC. Thru much of history a strand of matching pearl spheres was a treasure of almost incomparable value, in fact the most expensive jewelry in the world. And at one point, only people of a certain rank in society were allowed to wear pearls, determined by laws.
Fortunately the human hand eventually intervened, bringing access to pearls to the rest of us. Known for its stunning luster, the pearl has a very humble beginning as an annoying grain inside a mussel. Pearls do occur naturally, but the majority of pearls are considered cultured – they start with human assistance. To create a freshwater pearl, a tiny piece of tissue or pearl is carefully inserted into a live mussel. For protection, the mussel covers that tiny piece with a substance called nacre, the pearl “skin.” With thousands of thin layers of calcium carbonate crystals a pearl is created, with a white surface representing purity. Cultured pearls today rival the quality of the most expensive natural pearls.
The freshwater lakes of China have proven to be the perfect environment, creating pearls that are high in quality, durability, and with a high luster. Luster is the amount and quality of light that reflects off the surface of the pearl, which should be bright, not dull. As a soft gem, they need special care to protect them from scratches and perfume, so wipe them with a soft cloth after you wear them and keep them in a soft pouch to assure a long life together.
Within our collection, pearls are integrated into the design of several accessories and dresses. A veil with scattered pearls, satin gloves, and a ribbon and pearl hairbow make wonderful finishing touches for a flower girl and for her First Communion. For baby’s Christening, our crochet booties and knit and satin booties cover tiny toes under the gown, accented with pearls.
The purity of the pearl plays a lead role in our newest Christening gown, Elizabeth, that we’re introducing this fall. As smocking is being created by hand on our white 100% cotton bishop gown, our artisans are adding tiny pearls into the embroidery.
And we’re thrilled to have found beautiful freshwater pearls that are hand strung by a small group of artisans in Louisiana. In addition to a classic pearl bracelet and necklace, we’ve added lovely cross and flower charms as well. These are the perfect finishing touches for a flower girl, her First Communion, or any time she’s opening a special gift.
Going strong with a 4000-year history, we don’t think the fascination with pearls will diminish anytime soon. And it certainly won’t at Strasburg Children either. Because a girl is never too young for pearls.