Editor’s Letter, Pearls 2018: Ocean’s Heaven

Ready for a pearls trip? Welcome to JCK’s first annual pearl supplement, celebrating a gem like no other. That’s because for all their enduring appeal, pearls are the anomalies of the jewelry world. Unlike most gemstones, which are mined from the earth, pearls are derived from living creatures known as mollusks. They owe their signature iridescence not to a mineral but to an organic material called nacre; the mollusk secretes it to protect itself from irritants that find their way into the fleshy part of its shell. Most unusual of all, pearls emerge from those shells as finished products, requiring no cutting or polishing to enhance their lustrous good looks. No wonder we’re wild for pearls and always have been. The world’s most cutting-edge designers, who’ve embraced the pearl in recent years, would no doubt agree. Time and again, they continue to use the cultured baubles i

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