The New Diamond Emerges: The Pearl

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Pearls, riding a wave of popularity, are rapidly becoming the new gem of choice.

Diamonds, as luxurious and sparkling as they appear, have fallen out of favor with many gem lovers around the world due to the countless reported stories of slave labor in African mines and bonded child labor in Indian cutting and polishing factories. Once an iconic symbol of wealth and prestige, these brilliant gems are rapidly becoming regarded as illicit, ill-gotten gains.

Enter the pearl. As the oldest gemstone of recorded history, pearls have always been a treasured keepsake. In the days of old, pearls were so rare and valuable that a single stone could feed a village for a year. Pearls were collected and prized in all parts of the world as the only gemstone that needed no cutting or polishing to expose its inner beauty. But as the world's love of the pearl grew, an inverse effect was felt on the oyster population that produced them. Oyster populations as far away as the Persian Gulf and Western Australia were decimated by the hunt for this elusive gem.

Today this has changed. Cultured pearls have, since the early 1900s, replaced the natural harvesting of pearls in almost every region of the world. The cultured pearl industry now encompasses more than 99.99% of all pearls commercially harvested and sold today, and is responsible for saving many pearl producing oysters from extinction, as well as the environmental and ecological development and education of many coastal communities.

Cultured pearls are the one and only sustainable and naturally renewable gemological natural resource today. Rapidly replacing diamonds as the gemstone of choice, cultured pearls are viewed by many as the perfect balance of beauty and environmental responsibility. ThePearlOutlet.com is proud to be a part of this industry as one of the largest on-line pearl companies in the world today.

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Terry Shepherd