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What's The Difference Between Glass Pearls And Natural Pearls

August 14, 2022 2 min read

How Glass Pearls Are Different To Natural Pearls, at bluestreak crystals you can purchase the full range of Swarovski Pearls

Pearls have always been a symbol of wealth and glamour, historically they also have associations with purity and femininity- Queen Elizabeth 1st was frequently depicted covered in the purest of white pearls as part of the Tudor ad campaign endorsing the idea of “The Virgin Queen”. It is ironic that pearls are symbols of purity when their very existence in the natural world is the result of an impurity. A speck of grit that snuck its’ way inside a molluscs’ shell and the animals’ natural defences encase this tiny irritant in smooth layers of nacre, the same substance that coats the inside of the shell, hence the name Mother of Pearl. Natural Pearls take time to form, and the best come from very specific regions on the planet, making them rare as well as beautiful hence their semi-precious prestige.

The widespread demand for the look and lustre of pearls resulted in the manufacturing of glass pearls, which are essentially perfectly smooth round beads that are then coated in a single layer of nacre. This achieves a look so similar to the real thing that the differences are only obvious to those who know what to look for.

At Bluestreak Crystals we offer a range of pearl options, with Swarovski Pearls and Serinity Pearls at the high end and Preciosa Pearls and Estella Pearls offering alternate versions for varying budgets. The 5810 Round Pearls from Serinity are examples of completely round and fully drilled, this means they have a hole running all the way through, making them perfect for pearl necklaces and bracelets.

A benefit of glass pearls is that they can come in a much wider spectrum of colour options than natural pearls. The nacre that builds up to form a natural pearl matches the shell it came from and in the wild there is a narrow range of possible colours varying from white, through cream and rose to an iridescent dark green known as Tahitian Pearl - glass Pearls have no such limits!

Glass pearls can also be formed into whatever shape the manufacturer desires, for example Swarovski Pearls come in a wide range of Baroque shapes including the 5841 Round, 5842 Coin, 5843 Drop and 5844 Elongated. These Baroque shapes are deliberately irregular, allowing them more opportunities for their lustre to shimmer in the light.  Serinity and Preciosa also provide an extensive range of Cabochons Pearls, these have a flat side to them so that they can be glued onto any flat surface and these are popular with fashion designers and jewellery makers the world over.

Thanks to the versatility of the glass base within Swarovski Crystal PearlsSerinity pearls and Preciosa pearls you have an inspiring selection of colours, shapes and sizes to consider for your jewellery making or embellishment projects. If you have any finished projects that you are particularly proud of that feature these pearlescent beauties, be sure to tag us @bluestreakcrytsals on social media, we love to see your fabulous designs.