Pearl is a gemstone that is produced by an oyster in salt water or a freshwater mollusk. The foreign body enters the shell and then into the tissue of the mollusk. If a foreign body gets stuck and the oyster cannot get rid of it on its own, then it becomes an "irritant." The mollusk begins to defend itself and secretes a special substance-mother of pearl to weaken the irritating effect. Mother-of-pearl consists of microscopic crystals that are perfectly positioned relative to each other. The light passing through them is reflected and refracted so that a rainbow effect occurs. The thicker the mother-of-pearl, the more beautiful the pearl. There is a belief that overcoming suffering leads to beauty. Therefore, pearls are a symbol of overcoming and patience.
Natural pearls are rare, and now, due to pollution of the oceans and other factors, they are becoming rarer and rarer.
For many centuries, high-quality pearls have been sold for fabulous money. The problem was solved due to the artificial cultivation of pearls in Japan, producing them in the 1890s.
Natural and cultivated pearls – whether marine or freshwater - are considered natural since both grow in natural conditions. The only difference is how the "pathogen" gets into the shell. In natural pearls, which are very rare, the most likely irritant is a parasite or a grain of sand in cultivated pearls. A pearl bead or a piece of freshwater mollusk mantle fabric is inserted into the shell by qualified craftsmen with the help of special tools. More than 90 percent of the current volume of the world pearl trade accounts for cultured pearls.
Sea pearls are cultivated mainly on pearl farms located in the Sea of Japan, in the waters of Oceania or the South Seas. Pearl farms are equipped with modern equipment. Specially trained operators open the flaps of the shells and implant the "core." After implantation, the mollusks are placed on an underwater farm in the sea. The process of forming pearls lasts three years. From time to time, it is necessary to check the condition of the shellfish and clean them. Important factors are climate, temperature regime, water purity, the cycle of tides, and many other conditions.
Freshwater pearls are grown in many countries, including the USA, Japan, and China. Common mussels are usually used. Unlike oysters, which produce only one or two pearls, mussels can grow several pearls at once. Therefore, the bulk of freshwater pearls is much cheaper than sea pearls.
What kind of sea pearls name?
The assortment of cultured pearls is currently very diverse. According to the shape of the pearl, trade names are distinguished: round, rice, "bud", "potato", "corn", "cross", "Keshi", "baroque".
Cultured pearls "mabe" belong to a separate category of goods. It has relatively large dimensions (up to 20 mm in diameter) and a hemispherical shape. It is grown by gluing a ball of soapstone (steatite) onto the inner surface of the clam shell. Then the mollusk is returned to the sea, where the ball begins to be covered with layers of mother-of-pearl.
The differences in pearl color and other properties are explained by the different physiological state of the mollusks, the chemical composition of the water, the design of the plankton that the mollusks fed on, and other factors.
Today there are high-quality imitations that are difficult to identify. In many cases, a model can be quickly and accurately determined by trying a sample "on the tooth." Carefully run the model along the edge of the teeth. A natural pearl will create a feeling of sand on your teeth, and an imitation will develop a sense of slippery smoothness. Try this technique first on natural pearls and then on models known to you, and you will feel the difference.
How long does a pearl live?
The duration of the "life" of pearls depends on the conditions of their storage. In museum rooms in slightly darkened places, not too dry and not very wet, pearls can be preserved for more than 300 years. To prolong the "life" of pearls, they must be worn. It has long been noticed that if pearls are not worn for a long time, they begin to lose their luster, fade, turn brown, and wrinkle.
In general, something very mysterious is associated with the pearl.
There are many conflicting opinions about pearls.