I had an email from a bride to be the other day asking about the pearls in my handcrafted jewellery. I explained they were Swarovski pearls and that I use them as they are consistantly high quality, a uniform shape and size and don’t react to perfume and hairspray like real pearls do.
She instantly ordered a bracelet and sent me another email explaining why she had asked….she said that she was a vegetarian and as such is against animal cruelty in general. Therefore she wouldn’t buy real farmed pearls due to the process that they use to implant many irritant particles in each oyster shell (you can Google it if you are interested in knowing more, I don’t want to go into too many details!)
Just to mention at this point that I am a vegetarian myself and embarrassingly had never even thought about this issue! You learn something new every day so they say.
So, if you are a veggie/vegan you may want to do a bit of investigation before buying your jewellery, check that the designer is using either Swarovski pearls, or naturally formed pearls instead of intensively farmed pearls.