How Pearl Are Made
Did you know that deep at the bottom of the ocean there are creatures with a hard shell that produce some of the most beautiful jewels in the world?
Known as oysters, these funny animals hold a treasure deep within that jewelers around the world have spent hundreds of years trying to get at. But what’s more interesting is how these amazing animals create one of the world’s most sought after gems.
Let’s dive right in to see how pearls form in oysters and what makes them so special!
What Oysters Do to Create Pearls
One thing we’ll say is you can’t rush making a pearl! These delicate creatures produce pearls on their own time, and according to their own process. However, the result is absolutely incredible!
The first step to understanding how oysters go about creating pearls in the first place, is to learn how their body works.
Oysters are a type of mollusk, and they have two distinct shells. Underneath the shell is where mollusk’s organs live and do all things they need to keep the creature alive. The top layer is known as a mantle, which keeps away attacks on the organs, like pesky fish or would be predators who want to munch on oysters for dinner.
Even though their protective layer does a good job of keeping intruders at bay, it doesn’t automatically mean the clam or mussel will make a pearl. Actually, when you find a pearl in the wild, it’s even more rare than finding a diamond!
After forming its protective layers, oysters live their lives under the sea in relative peace, but every so often something will irritate their soft inside organs and structure. This could be a tiny grain of sand or any number of things.
Once it gets in between the tough outside layer, the irritant causes the oyster to create what’s known as nacre. Nacre gives off a protective coating that gets to work helping the oyster feel good again. Nacre is the mother of the pearl, since it gives birth to the pearl, which is why it has that name.
Way inside, the nacre is made of teeny tiny crystals of something called calcium carbonate. This same stuff lines the inside of the mollusk’s shell.
As time goes on, layer after layer of nacre builds up as a result of that tiny piece of sand, until one day a pearl is formed!
How Pearls Are Made by Companies
When companies go out and ‘farm’ pearls, they take mollusks and give the oyster an irritant right from the start. They do this by cutting the mollusk’s tissues. The oyster does the rest by naturally producing the gem. Whether created naturally or through farming, oysters take about four years to create pearls, which is why they are so expensive.
Learning about nature is fun, and when we learn how things are made we can use what nature gives us the right way. These super cool creatures are found the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Japan, Australia and China.
Interested in learning more about pearl jewelry & fashion? Follow our blog at thewishpearl.com