Pearl Information - Basics on types and care!

Pearls can be a mysterious and confusing thing to purchase at times, so we have compiled some information to share about pearls - from the basics and a bit beyond. 

Pearls have been sought after and coveted as symbols of wealth and status for thousands of years. The oldest written mention of natural pearls was by a Chinese historian in 2206 BC. In more modern times, natural pearls were still highly valued - for example in 1917, Pierre Cartier traded a double strand necklace of natural pearls for a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  With the innovation of culturing or farm raising pearls, they have become more affordable and much more accessible. 


As you explore our Pearl Bar at Duris Studios, we hope that you find the following information helpful.


There are natural pearls which form without any human intervention, and then there are cultured pearls - most pearls bought today are cultured. This just means that the pearl forming process has been initiated and monitored by people in a sustainable manner.

 The methods and science behind culturing pearls are often highly guarded secrets within the companies and pearl farms. 


There are four main types of cultured pearls

  • Akoya - If you picture the classic white strand of pearls, this is probably the type of pearl that you are thinking of - produced in Japan and China, these are saltwater pearls typically seen in shades of white, or blue/silver
  • South Sea - these are usually the largest and most valuable pearls - cultured in a larger mollusk, in saltwater, mainly in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These pearls are typically shades of white to golden. 
  • Tahitian - These saltwater cultured pearls primarily from the islands of French Polynesia (including Tahiti), are usually darker shades nearing black, frequently with overtones of silvery green, peacock, grey. 
  • Freshwater - These pearls get their name from being cultured in freshwater lake or pond farms, with China and the United States being the main sources. They have the widest range of shapes, sizes, and colors available, and are typically the most affordable. Most of our Pearl Bar are selections of freshwater cultured pearls. 


Pearl Care

As what is considered an organic gem, you cannot care for pearls the same way you would a metal piece of jewelry. They can be damaged by many chemicals found in household cleaners, cosmetics, perfumes, and hair care products. 

Never clean your pearls with any type of ultrasonic, steam cleaner, or chemical cleaner, or store them in a plastic bag, or in a place where they have a direct exposure to high heat. 

The best way to store pearls is in a soft cloth or pouch, or box, protected from rubbing against metal jewelry which can abrade the pearl surface over time. 

To clean your pearls, only use jewelry cleaners labeled safe for pearls if you must, but the best thing is simply to wipe them with a soft cloth just moistened with water (not dripping wet so as not the damage the strength of the silk cord.)

A good rule of thumb is that pearls should be the LAST THING YOU PUT ON when dressing and the FIRST THING YOU TAKE OFF. 

Lastly, pearls like being worn! The natural skin oils help keep pearls from becoming too dry, so enjoy them, and wear them!!

all charts and information have been sourced from the GIA - the Gemological Institute of America

April 2016

Sterling Silver Medium Waterdrop and Pearl Necklace - from $280

Sterling Silver Medium Waterdrop and Pearl Necklace - from $280

Spring has been an exciting time so far for us here at Duris Studios!

Sterling Silver Fluted Ring $60

Sterling Silver Fluted Ring $60

Diamond and 14KY Gold Starfish Earrings by Petri Kymlander $1580

Diamond and 14KY Gold Starfish Earrings by Petri Kymlander $1580

The door is open and a nice breeze is filling the shop as I write this, with people enjoying the beautiful day walking up and down Thames Street.

We are happy to announce that thanks in large part to photography by the talented Azur Mele, we now have several jewelry collections live and for sale here on the website!

The Waterdrop Collection and part of our Classic Collection, the Fluted series, complement the rest of the work we already have online.

The medium waterdrop and freshwater pearl chain necklace pictured to the right is a fun spin on the classic pearl necklace, and customers enjoy the versatility of the many ways it can be worn.  Our newly designed fluted ring pictured to the right has been very popular since we began making it last month. It is a classic, yet modern design that is wearable and looks stunning in either sterling silver or gold. 

As always, we are in the process of photographing even more work and adding new pieces frequently.



We have also added a few featured products by one of our gallery artists, the talented Petri Kymlander. In our SHOP Gallery Artists page we will be featuring select works, many one of a kind, from the artists we have in the gallery. We have three gorgeous pairs of earrings from Petri in the online shop at the moment, including these stunning diamond starfish earrings pictured to the right. Of course, we have these and MANY more great pieces in the gallery, so please stop in to visit if you are in Newport, RI.

Sneak Peek of Quiet Rebel Designs, coming soon to Duris Studios!!

Sneak Peek of Quiet Rebel Designs, coming soon to Duris Studios!!



There will be a new addition to the artist lineup in the gallery this summer, with jewelry by Janet of Quiet Rebel Design making a home amidst our other great selections. Janet's series Calm & Chaos features swirling lines of metal surrounding one of a kind stones that are gorgeous shades of ocean blues and greens. We look forward to having her work at the shop! In the meantime here is a sneak peek of her work.



The Pearl Bar that we began last summer has received such a great response in the last few weekends that we have decided to 're-open' the pearl bar full force a bit sooner than we planned! This means that if you're in Newport stop by to design your own custom strand! If you're unfamiliar, our pearl bar is essentially a design-your-own center for all things pearl! We have a great selection of freshwater pearls, and with a building variety of saltwater, tahitian, and south sea pearls. Once you've picked out a strand of pearls, simply pick from our selection of handmade clasps, a variety of colored silks, and your choice of length - then we do the rest! The pearls are hand-knotted, which means that a tiny knot is made between each pearl for security, and to protect the pearls from wear. We can also work with customers via phone or email to create a strand and have it ready to ship or pick-up if time is limited! Contact us for more information.


We hope to see you soon at the gallery! 

-All of us at Duris Studios

Winter 2016

We've been busy here at Duris Studios this winter; working on lots of new projects for the coming year!

We are in the process of photographing new products to expand our website offerings, so there will be many new additions in the coming months. Also, many new designs are underway and we look forward to sharing them with you online soon, or in the shop if you're in the area. 

One of the most exciting ventures that we began this winter is the design of many bridal samples for our new bridal collection. At the shop, we really enjoy working with people to design engagement rings, either as a surprise, or when the happy couple comes in together to get that perfect ring. Later on, it is a pleasure to create wedding bands to complete the set. We are creating even more sample sets of a variety of engagement ring and wedding bands that will always be on hand to help visualize the design process. There are many samples already finished and in the shop, so contact us if you'd like to come in and have a conversation about custom rings! We will be making more samples and of course adding them to the website soon as well.

Looking ahead to springtime and summer, there are several shows and events in the works that will be announced as temperatures get warmer.

-The team at Duris Studios