Are All Tahitian Pearls Black? and Other Pearl FAQ Answers

Are all Tahitian pearls black? What’s the difference between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl? Are freshwater pearls inferior to saltwater pearls? Are South Sea pearls really golden?

Good questions. With all the different pearl colors and types out there, it can be difficult to know just what you’re looking at. For those interested in buying pearls, or for gem enthusiasts who wish to learn more, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about pearls.

Are All Tahitian Pearls Black?

Not only are Tahitian cultured pearls not exclusively black, they’re also not grown in Tahiti. Called “black” because of their exotic dark colors, Tahitian cultured pearls can also be gray, blue, green and brown. And they’re grown in the lagoons of small islands that are part of a group known as French Polynesia. Tahiti, the largest island, serves as the group’s center of commerce, and not as a pearl growing mecca.

Tahitian pearls are cultivated for about two years in Pinctada margaritifera cumingi, a large mollusk native to French Polynesia. One of the ways this unique oyster differs from other species is its interior shell color, which is dark. This so-called “black lipped” oyster also has black mantle edges—the “lips” that give this animal its descriptive name.

Today, the most sought-after Tahitian cultured pearls are dark green-gray to blue gray with rosé or purple overtones. Pearl colors are determined by several factors, including variations in the host oyster, color variation of the implanted donor mussel tissue, the number and thickness of nacre layers, and variations in growing environment such as temperature and water quality. Tahitians are most often variations of gray, black, green and blue, but other colors exist.

At an average size of 8mm-14mm, Tahitian cultured pearls—especially those specimens that are gem-quality and round—are very expensive. According to the latest information from the Gemological Institute of America, up to 40 percent of implanted black-lipped oysters produce a gem-quality cultured pearl, but only about 5 percent of the pearls they produce are round. And only 1-2 percent of the entire crop will result in round cultured pearls of the finest quality. No wonder a Tahitian pearl strand is so costly! If you want to wear Tahitian cultured pearls, one way to do so without breaking the bank is to choose a pendant-style necklace with a single pearl, pearl stud earrings, a single pearl ring, or baroque (non-symmetrical) pearls. These designs are every bit as exotic and a lot more affordable than a matched strand.

What’s the difference between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl?

Natural pearls are formed when an irritant, such as a parasite, makes its way into a pearl-producing animal such as an oyster or mollusk. To protect itself, the animal coats the irritant in nacre—a combination of organic substances that also makes up what we call mother-of pearl. Over time, the layers of nacre build up around the intruder and eventually form the organic gem we all know as the pearl.

Cultured pearls are formed in the same way as natural pearls, with one big difference: they get their start not by chance, but deliberately, when man intervenes with nature. To produce cultured pearls, a skilled technician, called a nucleator, induces the pearl-growing process by surgically placing an irritant—a mother-of-pearl bead and a piece of mantle tissue, usually—into a mollusk. The animal is then placed back into the water and monitored, cleaned, etc. until the pearl is ready to be harvested.

The Chinese have been culturing freshwater blister pearls (pearls that grow underneath the mantle on the inside of the animal’s shell) since the 13th century, but Kokichi Mikimoto, a Japanese man, is credited with developing modern pearl culturing techniques. By the early 1920s, Mikimoto was selling his cultured pearls worldwide.

Natural pearls can be very beautiful, but due to overfishing, pollution and other factors, they are a rare find indeed.  Thus, nearly all pearls sold today are cultured pearls. There are two main types: freshwater and saltwater. South Sea cultured pearls, Tahitian cultured pearls and akoya cultured pearls are all types of saltwater pearls. Cultured pearls of all types can be found in jewelry stores worldwide.

Are saltwater pearls better than freshwater pearls?

It depends on who you ask, but many pearl experts today agree that freshwater cultured pearls can rival the beauty of their saltwater cousins. Due to improvements in culturing techniques, freshwater pearl farmers are producing beautiful, round, lustrous pearls that are a vast improvement over the wrinkled, rice-krispie-shaped gems that typified the freshwater pearl crop of the not-so-distant past.

Produced mainly in China, freshwater pearls are often nucleated, or implanted, with mantle tissue only (rather than a mother-of-pearl bead). Because they do not contain a starter bead, tissue-nucleated freshwater pearls are 100% nacre. This gives them a beautiful luster and a durable surface that won’t easily flake or peel to reveal the inner bead. By contrast, pearls that are bead-nucleated and harvested too soon often have only a thin coating of nacre that will flake or peel. This is a major problem: Unlike many other gemstones, pearls cannot be polished back to perfection.

Freshwater cultured pearls come in many beautiful natural pastel colors including cream, white, yellow, orange, pink and lavender. (Universally flattering lavender pearls are very popular right now.) White pearls are bleached to enhance their natural shine. Black freshwater cultured pearls are treated with dye or heat to produce their inky color.

Overall, freshwater pearls are more plentiful than other pearl types, thus they are generally more affordable.

Are South Sea pearls really golden?

Yes. Pearls produced in the aptly named “gold-lipped” oyster (P. maxima) can be a gorgeous creamy yellow, referred to as “golden” in the trade. (The silver-lipped variety of P. maxima produces beautiful silver or white pearls.) Grown in the South Seas—which stretch from the southern coast of Southeast Asia to the northern coast of Australia—these pearls are grown in one of the biggest oysters used in pearl culturing. Because they can accept a larger bead and secrete nacre faster than their smaller counterparts, these big oysters produce large pearls of exceptional luster and beauty. South Sea pearls’ thick coating of nacre gives the gems a wonderful luster, or glow, that appears to come from deep within the pearl. The warm waters, abundant food supply and low pollution levels of the South Seas also help these oysters produce beautiful cultured pearls.

Although Australia produces 60% of the world’s South Sea cultured pearls, Indonesian farmers work more with the gold-lipped oyster, and thus produce more golden pearls. The silver-lipped variety produces equally beautiful pearls that come in white to silver and often have rosé, blue or green overtones. Aside from giving them a light wash, pearl farmers do not treat South Sea pearls after harvest.

A Cocktail Dress For Every Body Type

One of the most versatile dresses that were ever designed for wear on special occasions is the cocktail dress.  While the events for which cocktail dresses are worn are usually late afternoon or early evening affairs that are too casual to be called black-tie events, many cocktail dresses can now be worn elsewhere, depending on the cut and the material of the dress and the accessories worn with it.

To wear a cocktail dress to a more formal event, all you need to do is to accessorize accordingly, perhaps wear more flashy pieces of jewelry and heavier makeup.  If you need to wear something dressy to the office for any reason other than the usual skirt or pantsuit, you can wear a cocktail dress that is not too flashy and just throw on a blazer and slip into sensible office shoes.  Many current styles of cocktail dresses are no longer limited to being party wear anymore.

Choosing what style of cocktail dress to wear, however, can be very tricky for most women.  After all, only a few women could claim to have truly perfect bodies, and most women who do not fall into the supermodel category prefer to hide the flaws of their figures.  Wearing a one-piece dress such as a cocktail dress can easily reveal those flaws if the dress does not fit the wearer’s body type.

In picking out the right cocktail dress to wear, a woman should always consider her body type – whether she is top-heavy or bottom-heavy – and find something that will balance out her figure.  If she is bottom-heavy, her aim should be to draw attention to the upper part of her body and to her face.  If she is top-heavy, she has the option either to emphasize her cleavage or to wear something that will pull the eyes to her legs.

What kind of cocktail dress would suit a woman with a bottom-heavy figure?   As said above, a woman with a bottom-heavy figure would want to hide the thickness around her hips and thighs.  A good cocktail dress for her to wear would be a dress that fits closely around the waist but without the seams pushed out by extra padding around the abdomen and has a skirt that flares out around the hips and thighs.  A cocktail dress with a full skirt would be perfect for a woman with a bottom-heavy figure because it will definitely hide whatever flabbiness and bulges that she wishes not to be seen around her lower body.

Another option available for a woman with a bottom-heavy figure is a cocktail dress that sports an empire-style waistline.  A cocktail dress with an empire-style waistline has the waist placed higher, thereby pulling the eyes towards the shoulders, the neck and the face.  It also drapes and skims over the lower body.  The only risk with wearing an empire-style cocktail dress, however, is that the empire-style cut is often used on maternity dresses, and so a woman wearing such a dress may be mistaken to be pregnant.

And yet another choice open for a woman with a bottom-heavy figure is a cocktail dress that is either sleeveless or strapless, also with a flaring skirt.  Again, baring the arms and the shoulders is effective in drawing attention away from the hips.

As for women with top-heavy figures, she could either emphasize her cleavage or her legs, as mentioned above.  If she wants to put focus on her legs rather than her cleavage, she can wear a cocktail dress with a solid-colored top paired with a patterned skirt.  She can hike the hem of her skirt up to make it shorter and really draw the eyes to her legs.

If she wants to attract attention to her ample cleavage rather than her legs, she can cover up her legs in a long-skirted cocktail dress but reveal a little skin on her upper body with a low V-neck or plunging neckline.  In fact, she can draw the eyes to both her top and her legs by wearing a short cocktail dress with a low neckline if she wants to.  What she should not do is to wear a cocktail dress with an overly busy top because it will make her upper body appear larger and skew the balance of her figure.

Accessories also help to keep the illusion of balance on a woman’s figure aside from wearing the right kind of cocktail dress.  Bottom-heavy women can wear flashy earrings, necklaces or chokers, while top-heavy women can forego the necklace and opt for a bracelet instead.  However, she should buy her cocktail dress first before figuring out what accessories, bag and shoes to wear.

Cocktail dresses are versatile dresses that can be worn on any occasion that requires some degree of formality without being a full black-tie event.  A woman should be able to choose the right cocktail dress that can really flatter her body type.

A Close Look at Halloween Masks

If you have already started to plan this year’s Halloween costume, you might have taken some time to look in a costume store or two or check out the selections online. A major part of the costume industry includes Halloween masks. A popular part of Halloween celebrations, Halloween masks are not the answer to everyone’s costume needs. Here is a look at the good and bad of this Halloween accessory.

The good

One of the best aspects of Halloween masks is that they disguise who you are quite thoroughly. Whether you choose a Halloween mask that covers your entire face and head, or just a portion, the final effect of either is that it alters the shape of you face. This can make it even more difficult to recognize you than it would be with merely face paint.

Another positive of Halloween masks is that they are very simple to use. If you paint your face, you will need a good deal of time, patience, and some artistic talent to get the right effect. With a Halloween mask, you simply slip it on and you are ready to go.

Masks can also be an inexpensive costume idea. By wearing a solid colored outfit and slipping on a mask, you can instantly become the character that the mask represents – other accessories are optional. You can even combine Halloween masks with your everyday clothing to become a zombie doctor, a cat who is a chef, or other unique idea.

The bad

Halloween masks can be dangerous if they are worn improperly. Special care should be taken to make sure that the mask does not block your vision or your breathing. This is particularly true with children’s costumes, since an improperly fitting mask could cause them to injure themselves while out trick or treating. You will want to try the mask on to make sure that it fits properly before wearing it on Halloween night. Remove masks when driving to ensure that you are able to see properly.

Halloween masks can also be hot, so if your Halloween evening will be spent in a warmer climate or a crowded party room you may become uncomfortable rather quickly. If you feel that you are overheating, remove your mask. Also make sure that you drink plenty of water during your Halloween celebrations.

While Halloween masks can be an inexpensive alternative to a full costume, they can also become quite pricey. The more detailed a mask is, the higher the price tag will often be. So if you are on a budget, you may have to settle for a less detailed Halloween mask, or an alternative like face painting, to achieve a similar effect.

Halloween masks can be an excellent addition to your Halloween costume, but they are not the perfect solution for everyone. Only you can decide if this Halloween accessory is right for you. If you purchase a mask and decide later on that it is not as comfortable or as safe as you would like, you can also use it as a creepy way to decorate your home.

70 – 80% Of Women Do Not Wear The Right Size Bra!

Well…First and foremost it is essential that you know your correct size. A badly fitting bra can lead to back problems, muscle tension, and even headaches. If you are in your teen years, the strain caused by a badly fitting bra can lead to permanent problems with posture and even back pain. So that?s why teens should be fit by a bra expert at least twice a year or even after every noticeable growth pattern.

Your first consideration should be the reason you need the bra; is it for athletics, coverage, comfort or support? There are different types and styles of bras made for specific types of bodies and physical activities. Although it would be nice, no one bra can do it all; you have different bras for different jobs. A Sexy bra for those intimate private moments or a Sports Bra for when you want to perform arduous exercise.

First Bras

Training bras are for younger girls who have just started to develop breasts and are not able to fit into standard size bras. Age is not the concern, rather its getting the right fit and support for your breast size.

Wireless Bras

Light support or wireless bras usually have no Underwire and are sometimes the preferred choice for those with smaller breasts. They are less constricting and more comfortable than full support bras. As they are wireless they offer less shaping and more freedom than other bras. You can find the padded and unpadded variety; what you choose is a matter of personal preference.

Underwire Bras

Full support or underwire bras usually have an underwire or plastic boning holding them up. It doesn?t matter what breast size you are, however it is a must for those with larger cup sizes. They also are available in padded or unpadded varieties.

Push Up Bras

Sometimes referred to as padded bras and more famously attributed to the Wonderbra. They lift the breasts and add more shape to them with extra padding. There are some more innovative versions around that use silicone inserts or water sacks to enhance your look even further. They are known to “lift and separate” the breasts, creating a full cleavage and most importantly offer lots of support.

Plus Size Bras

Plus size bras have finally found a home away from the unsightly bras of yesteryear to the sleek and sexy bras of today. From sports to sexy to your everyday bra, plus size bras are know available in many styles and brands. You can get extremely feminine lacy plus size bras, or bras finished in satin, silk, lace and cotton, under wire and strapless bras.

Sports Bras

Probably the least flattering and sexy in the bra family but ironically the most important one for growing teens to have. As well as offering full support, they also stop the breasts from moving during strenuous activity. The tissue in your breasts is very delicate and growing tissue especially needs to be protected during high impact exercise.

Nursing Bras

Your breasts start changing shape from the fourth month of pregnancy. As a result, most women find their previous bra too small. Purchase a nursing bras close to your due date or shortly after your baby arrives, because your breasts will grow larger toward the end of your pregnancy and when milk comes in. Consider buying a bra that has flaps and can be opened and refastened easily. Since milk leakage is inevitable, it also makes sense to buy nursing pads to protect both your bra and clothes. It is always better to buy 100% cotton bras, as cotton is a breathable fabric. Synthetic fabrics trap moisture and encourage bacterial growth and soreness.

Mastectomy Bras

These types of bras are designed with pockets in the cup area to hold a breast prosthesis. There is a wide range of styles and colors available. The silicone breast prosthesis simulates the natural breast with regards to its shape and weight. The prosthesis?s main advantage of is that it provides symmetry and balance to a persons body, who has survived from breast cancer. Wearing the right prosthesis is primarily important to your ultimate comfort level. With a superior fitting prosthesis, and a well-made and fitted mastectomy bra, you in turn will help to balance your posture and provide fortification for your chest and breast cancer scars.

Now you know the importance of the bra and the many types available, you should know firstly what size you need and how to determine that size. The following article gives you an insight into how to measure your self and the importance of a well fitted bra.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Garage Not Working

Is it accurate to say that you are experiencing difficulty opening and shutting your carport entryway with your carport distant? Try not to go crazy: we have the best 5 reasons why your carport isn’t working, including their simple and convenient solutions.
5 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Opener Isn’t Working

Your carport entryway is physically bolted.
Your carport may have been physically bolted and hence unfit to react to your distant. Twofold watch that the manual lock is withdrawn prior to investigating other expected issues.
Your carport’s sensors are messy or broken.
Your carport sensors that stretch from one divider casing to the next. On the off chance that these sensors get any article or development, the sensors convey a message to the opener to quit shutting. It’s anything but’s a wellbeing measure to guarantee that youngsters and pets aren’t inadvertently gotten under the entryway. Your sensors might be the issue if your carport opens, however it doesn’t close. In the event that that is the situation, your sensors may be filthy or broken, in which case, they’ll should be fixed to work regularly once more.
You have broken twist springs.
Is your carport declining to lift by any stretch of the imagination? Your entryway’s twist springs may be the issue. These springs are rock solid gadgets that help lift the entryway – and like any piece of gear, they can get rusted or break throughout quite a while. In the event that you hear a noisy bang while opening your carport, that is most likely one of your twist springs breaking. For this situation, summon an expert right, as it tends to be hazardous to fix twist springs all alone.
Your dis Connector was incidentally empowered.
The distinction switch is a safeguard that permits you to physically open your carport in the event that your home loses power. You can tell if the distinction switch is the issue in the event that you hear the carport opener engine running, yet your entryway isn’t moving in any way. This is a handy solution in that you can debilitate the distinction switch by connecting the distinction rope back to your carport (ensure you do it when the entryway is completely open or shut).
Your battery is dead.
To wrap things up, verify whether the batteries in your distant are really working. You’d be amazed at the quantity of individuals who go through the array of reasons why their carport entryway probably won’t be opening, just to have the issue essentially boil down to dead batteries. On the off chance that your carport opens yet just when you step nearer to the entryway, this is a surefire sign that your batteries are running out of juice. Trade them out to rapidly tackle this issue.
As yet Having Garage Door Opener Problems?
On the off chance that nothing’s hindering your carport entryway and you’ve taken a gander at all of the above reasons, it’s an ideal opportunity to call an expert. A neighborhood family claimed and worked organization will actually want to give a gauge on your maintenance.