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Since ancient times, pearls have been considered the symbol of unblemished perfection. As such they are a popular choice for bridal jewellery as they are said to be a sign of purity and innocence.
In ancient Rome, the pearl was an indicator of wealth and social standing, while the ancient Greeks associated the pearl with love and marriage and unrivalled beauty. The Greeks also believed the pearl would “take away the bride’s tears” ensuring she had a happy and tear-free wedded life.
Up until the 20th century, pearls were the rarest, most highly-prized and most sought-after jewel in the world and as such only the nobility would have been able to afford them. In the early 1900’s pearls became much more common as the process of creating cultured pearls came into practice. In addition to the pearls we all associate with oysters there are also pearls made by other molluscs.
Freshwater shell and pearl mussels are from the family Unionidae, from which about 20 different species are commercially harvested. Pearl farmers introduce a shell bead into the mussel and the mollusc deposits layers of nacre around the bead. The tones of freshwater cultured pearls are dictated by the mother shell. White is most common, followed by pink. Other colours depend on the type of mussels.
The tradition of giving pearls to the bride, whether it’s a gift from father or groom, continues to this day. Also, many brides today give their bridesmaids gifts of pearls, perhaps a pendant, earrings or bracelet.And, after many years of married life the Pearl comes into it’s own again, as a gift for the 30th Wedding Anniversary.
Citron - Mmm! conjures up images of limes, lemons and The Mediterranean and this piece of sea glass does the same.
Sea glass with a yellow green colour is called ‘citron’ and is one which falls into the ‘rare’ category for sea glass. This piece is a deeper shade of citron, dark yellow green, but not as dark as forest green. This glass was used in the manufacture of wine bottles, bitters bottles and ink bottles.
This piece is well frosted and a good shape and just shouted to me to make a pendant with it.
I’ve been collecting sea glass to make my jewellery for about four years now and yesterday was the first time I found Black Sea Glass, another first was that I found not one piece but two.
Black sea glass isn’t actually black, but in most cases the glass is very dark green or very dark amber. I am exceedingly lucky here as I found one of each! The larger of the pieces has a green tone and the smaller has an amber tone, this can only be seen when the glass is held up to a very strong light.
Black glass was used prior to 1900 for beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages as they frequently needed protection from sunlight.
As you can imagine I have collected a fair amount of sea glass, so what are the odds of finding a piece of ‘black glass’ – I don’t know!