How Are Pearls Made: The Secret Is Unleashed

How Are Pearls Made: The Secret Is Unleashed

There are three types of pearls in this world – natural, cultured and imitation.
A natural pearl begins its life inside an oysters shell when an intruder, such as a grain of sand slips in between one of the two shells of the oyster, a type of mollusk, & the protective layer that covers the mollusk's organs, called the mantle.
In order to protect itself from irritation, the oyster begins covering this grain of sand with layers of nacre, the mineral substance that fashion’s the mollusk’s shells. The oyster puts layer upon layer of this nacre until the iridescent gem is formed.
A cultured pearl undergoes the same process. The only difference is that the irritant is surgically implanted bead or piece of shell called Mother of Pearl. These “seeds” or “nuclei” are usually formed from mussel shells.
Quality cultured pearls require a sufficient amount of time – generally at least 3 years – for a thick layer of nacre to be deposited, resulting is beautiful. Gem-quality pearl. Lower-quality pearls have often been “rushed” out of the oyster too quickly and have a thin coat of nacre.
The culturing process takes several years. Mussels take up to 3 years to reach a mature age and only then they can be implanted with an irritant. Once the irritant is injected, it again takes up to 3 years to form a full-size pearl.
Of the pearls produced, approximately 5% are of true gem quality of top jewelry makers, yet a pearl farmer can figure on spending over $100  for every oyster that is farmed, whether a gem-quality is produced or not.
In the case of the imitation pearls, a glass bead is dipped into a solution made from fish scales. This coating is thin and might eventually wear off. You can easily tell the difference between a fake pearl & an imitation pearl by rubbing it across the teeth. Fake pearls glide across your teeth while the layers of nacre on real pearls feel gritty.
Pearls can either come from freshwater or saltwater sources. Saltwater pearl crystals are rounder & have a better nacre than freshwater pearls, while freshwater pearls tend to be very irregular in shape & have a puffed rice appearance.
Improvements in freshwater pearl farming techniques have narrowed that gap, with freshwater pearls now exhibiting great roundness and deep luster.

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