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Latest Articles - Luxury

How To Wear A Wrist Watch Properly – The Lesson of Style

When purchasing watches, no one is questioned with how to wear watches, actually. This appears to be logical and rational. Nevertheless, the simplest things happen to be complicated sometimes. Everything is made from details and details sometimes mean far more than the whole. People who really wander how to wear watches properly exist and they are really concerned in this issue.

Cigar Lighters – Torches To Splash Delight

The Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a revolutionary Che Gevara, politicians Winston Churchill and Bill Clinton, writers Somerset Maugham and Mark Twain, the actor and the political figure Arnold  Schwarzenegger – these names are well-known and these figures are best known to the world for their political, social, literary and other achievements. Moreover, the abovementioned people highly esteem cigar smoking and, thus, they come as people who own the greatest number of tools and accessories so requisite for this leisurely process and among others there are cigar lighters.

Crystal Glass Tableware – A Song of Crystal

In the light of a variety and availability of glass items, glass ware is still appreciated by plenty people, especially when it comes to cut glass. The cut glass produces a long, lingering and musical tune when you put your finger at the cut-glass edge. So, in Japan the craftsmen make unique musical instruments. A crystal violin, completely transparent, is estimated for fifty thousand USD. Crystal glass tableware is not so much expensive though it is able to produce the charming, unique and so brittle music providing it is properly cared.

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Freshwater Pearls: and Epitome of Luxury

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Freshwater PearlsLike the bright stars in the southern night sky, or sparkling snow in the winter sun, freshwater pearls fascinate, attract, and captivate. For years, pearls have been considered an attribute of luxury, indicator of prosperity and high status. However, thanks to the boldness of the jewelers and, most importantly, their ability to create masterpieces with freshwater pearls, now many pearls admirers can afford beautiful pearl jewelry. Today, a string of pearls is not only a perfect touch to complete an elegant outfit or an evening gown; it can dress up any casual attire, from a formal suit to a frilly sundress. Besides, pearl jewelry is an essential part of bride's wedding look.

Freshwater Pearl History

Natural freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family Unionidae, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder, more temperate areas, such as Germany, Russia, and North America. However, most freshwater pearls sold today come from China. If you're going to try and find a freshwater mussel in the nearby river, don't bother. High levels of environmental pollution prompted experts to develop methods for cultivation of freshwater mussels on specifically built farms. With near perfect conditions of pearl farming, it was possible to preserve this wonderful gift of nature.

Nevertheless, the history of freshwater pearls started long ago. In the 22 century BC in China pearls from the Huai River were given as tribute to the king. It was the pearl-bejeweled headwear that prompted ancient Chinese to recognize a person as a high-ranking dignitary, as Chinese jewelers of that time preferred pearls - in their opinion, a natural perfection, both in shape and color - to all other gemstones.

In medieval Russia, in addition to the imported pearls, they used natural pearls from the rivers in the north-western Russia. At that time, people believed that the best pearls can be found in the rivers rich in salmon, as this ‘royal fish' brings pearls to mussels. Moreover, a large oval-shaped pearl was called a ‘pearl cucumber', fine pearls were known as ‘pearl grains', while a pea size pearls were referred to as ‘beads', or ‘fake pearls'.

Freshwater pearls in Russia were used not only for making jewelry, but for embroidery of women's clothing and headwear which served as a lucky charm. Pearls have also been crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines, or in paint formulations. Due to the fact that pearls did not require any additional treatment, they ranked as the most expensive and valuable gemstone, until in the 15-th century a method for cutting gemstones was invented. After that, diamonds and rubies quickly became favorite gemstones, though freshwater pearls in Russia were harvested until the end of 19-th century.

Nevertheless, by mid 19-th century, each and every rich person had at least one strand of high-quality pearls in their jewelry collection. In the 1920-s, it was nearly impossible to find genuine pearl jewelry, as it became unbelievably rare and was kept mostly in private collections. Single natural pearls were often sold as a collector's item, or set as centerpieces in unique jewelry. Very few matched strands of natural pearls exist, and those that do often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In 1917, jeweler Pierre Cartier purchased the Fifth Avenue mansion that is now the New York Cartier store for $100 cash and a double strand of matched natural pearls valued at the time at $1 million.

For many years now, owning a piece of genuine pearl jewelry has been a privilege of royal families, and old auction houses, such as Sotheby's. For example, the famous Palawan Princess pearl, second largest natural pearl after the legendary Pearl of Allah, was auctioned by the Bonhams & Butterfields. The Princess weighs more than 2 kgs, and its diameter is over 15 centimeters. The lot was initially estimated at $ 400.000.

However, the 1920-s saw the revival of pearl jewelry by the famous Coco Chanel who believed it to be the perfect accessory for her little black dress. Soon everyone was convinced that jewelry should be donned to complete an outfit and not to attract envious glances, which was common as only wealthy ladies could afford jewelry between the wars. Mademoiselle Coco proved that even cultured pearls can be the perfect alternative to expensive and flashy trinkets. That's how, among other things, she invented haute jewelry.

Freshwater Pearl Jewelry

A typical necklace of freshwater pearls is a strand of white or pink symmetrical perfectly round and proportional pearls. To make such a necklace, jewelers sometimes work for 5 - 7 years. Most of this time is spent carefully selecting the perfect gemstones. While Europeans tend to prefer luminous, not necessarily large, pearls, Americans, by contrast, choose large and lusterless white. However, pearls can be of different shape, color, size, purity and luster. Contemporary jewelers use pearls of various colors: black, gold, coffee, white, pink, green and turquoise - all in all, about 120 hues.

The famous jewelry brand Tiffany & Co presented a High Jewelry collection, which featured the platinum Coach necklace with a splatter of white diamonds and colored pearls, including cultivated freshwater pearls. The necklace is perfect for an evening gown or a cocktail dress.

The Italian Damiani Group and Maison Martin Margiela launched Line 12 jewelry collection. The collection highlights included stunning necklaces of freshwater pearls. Multiple strands of brightly colored and oddly shaped pearls have instantly caught attention of many fans of pearl jewelry around the world.

Philippe Ferrandis is a French designer of jewelry and accessories who creates two collections per year which are always different, always spectacular, but which have over the years acquired their own style.  Ferrandis' collections always include several pearl jewelry pieces. His style and the quality of his jewelry are well known among the couture designers. Balmain, Oscar de la Renta, Jean Louis Scherrer, Escada and Chanel all ask him to accessorize their fashion shows. For the past eight years, Daniel Swarovski has asked Philippe for his artistic collaboration on every collection.

However, pearls are used not only for the classic jewelry and art jewelry pieces. Couture Stiletto has surprised those who can appreciate the beauty of a luxury item. A new collection of footwear looks really chic: high-heel sandals in the snakeskin stitched with freshwater pearls of all natural colors. The price of the exclusive footwear is given upon inquiry.

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