A pearl is a calcium carbonate deposit (CaCO3) which a mollusk or shellfish such as an oyster, will create as a reaction to an irritant contained within its shell. The mollusk cannot remove the irritant, it might be a grain of sand or some hard substance, so will coat it with something it feels more comfortable with. The deposit is combined with a substance called conchiolin and this then becomes nacre. This is more known to us as Mother of Pearl.
all about pearls logo This presents itself to us as a pearl and each pearl has it’s own luster. This luster depends on a number of factors including the reflection of light on the pearl and the refraction of light from the various layers of nacre.
Pearls are usually white but sometimes have a tint of pink, yellow, green or blue. One can also find black pearls, referred to as the Tahitian Pearl and these are quite rare so more highly prized.
Pearls are highly prized for their beauty and iridescence and some can be extremely valuable. It is quite common for pearls to pass down from one generation to the next and these pearls should be carefully looked after and cared for.
Once pearls, being natural only, were the perogative of the very wealthy. Now, with the advent of the cultured variety, most people can enjoy having pearls.