Do you have any idea that the best jewelry item – Peal is made out of an oyster’s defensive response to any foreign object. Yeah! The Pearls that we all love to style our outfits with is a mere opposing product of the oyster.
How are pearls produced?
- The process of the production of the pearl begins when any foreign material like sand or a parasite manages to get inside the oyster’s shell. If the foreign object touches the mantle inside the shell, then it might up damaging it.
- The oyster considers the substance as a potential threat thus, mantle begins to deposit a substance called nacre, in the response to the invading substance.
- Nacre is also known as the mother of the pearl and it the substance which lines the inner part of the oyster’s shell.
- Also, the external damage to the oyster’s shell can result in the mantle to trigger a similar response to repair any damage of the shell.
What is Nacre?
It is composed of calcium carbonate and is mostly available in the form of mineral aragonite and calcite. It functions as a glue that holds both the layers of the oyster’s shell together. Mineral aragonite the crystal structure of Nacre and conchiolin combined to offer ultimate shine or luster to the pearl.
Several layers of nacre get layered on the body of the foreign material and then it is made to fall out of oyster in the form of a pearl of varied shape. The shape of the pearl is one of the contributing factors of the shape of the pearl.
How is it possible to distinguish between natural and cultivated pearls?
- X-ray test
It is easy to distinguish between the two pearls with the help of an X-ray test. Natural pearl will show the concentric growth rings at the center. On the other hand, cultivated pearls will have a solid core.
- Price point
The natural pearls are far more expensive than the cultivated ones.
The spherical shaped pearls are rarest to be found, while the cultivated ones are commonly available in the markets.
The real pearls are the result of the natural defense mechanism of the oysters while the cultivated ones are produced in an artificial environment. The farmers allow the baby oysters to grow in cages for two to three years and once it has reached its maturity level, it is used for the cultivation of the pearls.
Types of cultivated pearls
The specifications in the method of cultivation are dependent upon the type of water the oysters are stored in –
- Saltwater cultivated pearl
The oysters stored in saltwater mostly have beaded shells.
It takes around 6 to 12 months to get ready for the cultivation of the pearl from the oyster.
- Freshwater cultivated pearl
The oysters stored in freshwater have only non beaded shells.
It takes 5- 6 years to get ready for the cultivation of the pearl.
After everything learning about pearls, you must also know that It takes hard work of many years and depletion of many oysters to create one fine jewelry piece of high-end rare pearls.