I'm concerned about my credit card information
-- is this site safe to order online?
Pearl Guys is very concerned about cybercrime and
making sure your credit card information is secure. Here are some of the
things we do to make sure your credit card information is kept secret:
1. We use the highest level of encryption when sending credit card
information over the Internet (128-bit or 256-bit SSL or Secure Socket
Layer). You'll know your information will be secure if you see a closed
lock on the bottom right corner of your web browser and the Address at the
top of the browser starts with "https://". You can click on the lock to
see if the encryption certificate is valid.
2. We have our own network center and maintain very strict physical and
electronic security measures. We use enterprise-class firewalls and update
our security software and virus scanning files daily.
3. We hire an outside company certified by Visa, MasterCard, and
SANS/FBI to regularly try to hack into our systems. We are certified to be
in compliance with the most recent security requirements of the credit
card industry and are SANS / FBI Top 20 Vulnerability Test Compliant.
4. Our systems never see your credit card number. Your credit card
information is encoded and sent to the credit card company for
verification and processing. We therefore can never store your credit card
number on our system so it is impossible for it to be stolen from us. The
only bad thing about this practice is that you have to enter your credit
card information each time you come back to Pearl Guys -- a small price to
pay to know that when you do business with us, only you and the credit
card company know your credit card number.
Can you send me a catalog?
mailing catalogs is very expensive. We want to keep our pearl prices low,
so we rely on the Internet to present all of our products. Sorry, but we
don't print catalogs
Why do you want my email address to register?
Pearl Guys uses your email address as a unique identifier
for your account. We also use it to send you confirmation that your order
has been shipped (and a shipment tracking number), and to communicate with you
your order. We will never sell, lend, or give your email address to
else, and we do not use it to send you advertisements.
What if I don't have an email address?
We can still register you, but we won't be able to send you an email
confirmation when your order ships. If you don't have an email
address, when registering use your first and last name together, then the
@ symbol, and then pearlguys.com (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This is not a real email address, but it will serve as a unique identifier for
your account. If you get an error message that your email address is
try putting a number after your name (email@example.com).
How much do you charge for shipping?
and handling costs for deliveries to the U.S. are included in our prices.
International deliveries will be charged a shipping and handling fee based
on the size and weight of the package and the delivery location. After
placing an order for delivery to an international address, you will be
contacted, advised of the fee, and provided an opportunity to approve the
What are Freshwater Pearls?
Pearls are created by
�bivalves�, or mollusks with two shell halves (like oysters, clams, and
scallops). There are bivalves that live in saltwater (oceans) and
freshwater (rivers and lakes). The process of creation is essentially the
same in freshwater and saltwater, differing in technique and the species
of the bivalve. Here's a link explaining bivalve anatomy:
Are these real pearls?
honest-to-goodness real pearls made by nature's own little critters. They
are, like virtually all pearls today, cultured pearls.
What is a �Cultured� pearl?
pearls all by themselves, but very rarely do they create a pearl beautiful
enough for jewelry. The harvesting of bivalves for pearl collection is harmful
to the species -- to obtain a single beautiful natural pearl in some
species requires the harvesting of a million oysters. Harvesting of bivalves
for pearls is outlawed in many countries.
Scientists have developed methods of culturing pearls from bivalves
that involves a sterile surgical procedure to implant a pearl nucleus. The
bivalves are very carefully tended to ensure they are healthy and clean,
have sufficient food, and are moved to safer locations if the water
temperature changes or if disease finds its way into their environment.
Employing these farming procedures ensures that the bivalve population is
never destroyed for the harvesting of pearls.
How does the bivalve make a pearl?
inside of the bivalve's shells are made of nacre ( ).
If a foreign object finds
its way inside the bivalve, the bivalve will coat the object with nacre,
so the pearl is essentially a nucleus of some object that the bivalve has
coated in a protective layer of beautiful nacre. Nacre consists of calcium
carbonate (a crystalline substance) and conchiolin (an organic protein
that acts like glue).
What is a �Tahitian� pearl?
"Tahitian" pearls are cultured in the "Pinctada Margaratifara" or "Black Lipped
Oyster". This mollusk excretes a dark nacre that creates the wonderful black and
peacock colors exhibited in these pearls. Actually, the name "Tahitian" is a little
misleading, because while these pearls may travel through Tahiti on their way to
market, they are actually cultured in the lagoons of islands and atolls of the South
Pacific near Tahiti. Real Tahitian Pearls (like we sell) are grown in salt water
and are naturally dark. Some people may sell black pearls that are fresh or salt
water pearls that have been dyed or radiated to change their color from off-white
to black. Rest assured that our Tahitian pearls are the real thing from the black
lipped oyster living in the South Pacific and their color is natural without any
Are freshwater and saltwater pearls the same?
species of bivalves that live in these two environments are different, but
nature's pearl-making process is the same. The big difference between
cultured freshwater and saltwater pearls is in how the pearls are
cultured. For saltwater pearls, the implanted nucleus is a finely machined
mother-of-pearl bead while freshwater pearls are implanted with a tissue
Mother-of-pearl beads are made from mollusk shells and are
manufactured to precise standards in shapes and sizes as ordered by the pearl
farmers. When implanted, the bivalve will coat this bead with nacre. For
freshwater pearls, a nucleus of mollusk tissue is implanted instead of a
bead, and over
a period of 2 to 6 years the bivalve creates a pearl that is entirely
nacre (the tissue is effectively replaced by nacre as the pearl grows).
How do you judge pearl quality?
You have probably
heard of the "Four C's" to evaluate a diamond. Pearls can be judged by the
||Like anything rare and beautiful, bigger is more rare
and therefore more expensive. |
||Shape is a matter of personal taste and fashion.
Pearl shapes include round, oval, drop, button, and baroque.
Designer shapes like crosses and squares are now being cultured
using custom-shaped mother-of-pearl nuclei. |
||Color is also a matter of taste and fashion, but
richer more consistent color in a pearl is rarer and therefore more
||The surface finish and luster are the most important determinant
of a pearl's value. The more even and lustrous a pearl's surface,
the rarer and more expensive it will be. The deeper the color
as reflected in the surface luster, the finer the pearl. Remember
that pearls are created by nature, and should show at least slight
variations in finish. This is what gives a pearl its personality,
and proof of authenticity, and is the true display of
nature's wonder. |
Additionally, if you are buying a necklace or other piece of jewelry
with more than one pearl, consider how well matched the pearls are to each
other. Remember that some jewelry uses multiple colors or sizes, including
graduated pearl size throughout a necklace.
What are Baroque pearls?
Baroque is a term
relating to the shape of a pearl. Baroque pearls are non-symmetrical and
are often found with �rings� or other abstract shapes. Baroque pearls can
make a bold fashion statement and truly show off nature's artistic
Caring For Your Pearls
Compared to your other gemstones
and jewelry, pearls are much softer and more delicate. Don't be
afraid to wear your pearls, but do take a few extra precautions to ensure
decades of enjoyment from your pearls.
The application of hair spray and other cosmetics can damage pearls, so
put your pearls on after your hair and makeup are done. Don't store your
pearls directly with your other jewelry. Pearl Guys provides a silky pearl
purse with its jewelry, and we encourage you to keep your pearls in this
purse when you are not wearing them (our pearl purse is great for travel,
Do not use anything other than water and a very mild diluted soap
solution to clean your pearls. Dry them with a soft clean cloth.