Once upon a time, Jacques Cartier – you might have heard his name before, he was kind of a very big deal in the jewelry world – wanted some property to open a storefront. And he didn’t want just any old property. Jacques wanted a prime location on New York’s Fifth Avenue, which was very, very expensive, even way back in the day. Jacques didn’t let that stop him. He went to the property owner and proposed a trade, which was happily accepted. Jacques wound up with the location that became the first Cartier store. In exchange, he’d given up two pearl necklaces.Pearls have always been uniquely precious. They’re the only gem that comes from a living animal – and if you’re sensitive about that type of thing, don’t worry: the oysters used in pearl production are actually very well cared for. Growing pearls doesn’t harm them – it’s a completely natural process – and because they’re contained and protected from predators, pearl-farming oysters live longer, safer lives than their wild brethren.Pearls come in a variety of colors, from the purest white to dark black, with yellow, pink, and gray also common. This color is determined by the oyster’s shell. The shape of the pearl is determined by the way the oyster forms the nacre around the seed – a small irritant pearl farmers introduce into the oyster to encourage pearl development. Most pearls are round, but button and drop shapes are also common. Baroque pearls are pearls that don’t have an easily defined shape: these special pearls often play a starring role in pendants or one of a kind rings. For great examples of pearl jewelry, you’ll want to check out our "Previously Enjoyed" Collection. We’ve got some great pearl jewelry right now, including these designs: Pearls love to be worn. To take care of your pearls, wipe them with a soft cloth periodically. When you store them, take care that they don’t bang up against your other jewelry. Pearls are kind of fragile and they can get damaged easily when coming up against hard things like diamonds and gold. Plan on having your pearls restrung every five years or so: the expense is minimal and it’s good insurance against having your pearl necklace break at the worst possible moment! Having the string knotted prevents pearl loss in case of breakage. We can do that for you right here at The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest, where all repair work is done right on the premises.