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Pearl Education

Avital & Co.

If you can imagine it, we’ll create it since 1957

Pearl Information

For over 4,000 years, pearls have been coveted as one of the most beautiful gems available and as symbols of purity, wealth, and status of affluence and royalty.  Today, pearls are more than just the traditional strand of pearls you might remember your mother or grandmother wearing.  Avital and Co., located in the heart of the world famous Diamond District in New York City (NYC), can create classic and contemporary pieces of jewelry using pearls that will fit any budget.

Pearls come from a group of water organisms called pearl mollusks, which includes clams, oysters, and mussels, from both freshwater and saltwater.  Pearls can be classified into two genres—naturally occurring pearls and cultured pearls.  Both genres of pearls are made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers and are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) to protect itself from some type of irritant inside its shell.  Nacre is a glossy material that the mollusk uses to line the inside of its shell.

In cultured pearls, further classified as saltwater pearls or fresh water pearls, to create the pearl, an irritant is surgically introduced in farm-raised mollusks.  This irritant is usually a small pearl bead and a piece of mantle tissue from another mollusk and placed into the soft tissue of the mollusk to start the growth process of the pearl. Not all produce a pearl; and not all the pearls are high quality.  Over 10,000 pearls may be sorted before a 16” single strand of beautifully matched pearls is assembled.

In natural grown pearls, nature has to introduce the irritant in the mollusk's shell.  Therefore, natural pearls are extremely rare and extremely valuable.  Today, most people will buy culture pearls because of their afford ability and there is no other difference between a naturally gown pearl and a cultured pearl.

Freshwater pearls are grown in man-made lakes and reservoirs in China while saltwater pearls are grown in bays, inlets, and atolls in many places around the world.  It can take anywhere from 3-5 years for a fresh water pearl to grow, 5-7 years for a saltwater pearl to grow and 20 years for a precious natural pearl to grow. Cultured pearls account for about 90% of all pearl sales.

The quality of the shine or luster of the pearl, which determines its value and beauty, is dictated by the quality of the nacre.  The luster is created when light reflects off the multiple layers of the nacre that form the pearl. The larger the pearl the more luster the pearl will exhibit. Pearls can be round, pear-shaped, oval, or misshapen. Misshapen pearls are called baroque pearls.

Types of Pearls

Many different types of pearls are available today at affordable prices to fit every budget.  The most popular cultured pearls are Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, Freshwater pearls, Gold South Sea pearls, and White South Sea pearls.  Although natural pearls are extremely rare and extremely expensive, the most popular kinds are the Conch pearls and Abalone pearls.  The difference in the luster, color, and size of each type of pearl depends on a variety of factors such as geographical location, temperature, water cleanliness, and the nurturing of the different breeds of the pearl-bearing mollusks.  Therefore, each type of pearl has its own sense of wonder, beauty, and elegance.

If you are interested in purchasing pearls, please email us at or call us at 212-764-6851 during our store hours.

Here at Avital & Co., located in the heart of the world famous Diamond District in New York City (NYC), we believe in taking care of our current and future customers.  Therefore, Avital & Co. offers many beneficial services that are free included but not limited to our Referring a Friend Program, our free Client Loyalty Rewards Program where you earn free loyalty dollar points towards future purchases, free jewelry cleaning, free verbal appraisals, free consultations, and many other free services.  In addition use our free and convenient layaway program where you may be eligible for an additional free 2,500 client loyalty dollar points (cash value of $25) towards your future purchase here at Avital & Co.  Register with us and receive your first free 2,500 client loyalty dollar points (cash value of $25) towards your first purchase valued at $150 or more here at Avital & Co.

To all of you, from all of us at Avital & Co. - Thank you and Happy Shopping.