A Guide To Pearls

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The birth of a pearl is truly a marvelous event.
Unlike other gemstones or precious metals that have to be mined from the earth, pearls are grown in oysters far below the surface of the sea.
Pearls need no harsh treatments to reveal their loveliness, as they are born from their mother oysters with a shimmering iridescence, luster and soft inner glow that are unlike any other gem on earth.
A natural pearl begins its life as a foreign entity such as a parasite or piece of sand that is accidentally lodged in the oyster's soft inner body where it cannot be expelled.
The oyster's body makes an effort to alleviate this irritant and takes defensive action.
The oyster secretes a smooth, hard crystalline substance around the irritant in order to protect itself.
As long as the irritant remains within its body, the oyster continues to secrete nacre around the irritant, layer upon layer.
After a few years the irritant gets totally encased by the silky crystalline coating and this becomes a lovely and lustrous gem called a Pearl.
The formation of precious pearls from what an oyster regards as protection against irritation is one of nature's most prized secrets.
Many different types of pearls are formed from a mother oyster.
Pearls are graded according to several characteristics, such as luster, shape, color, surface and size.
The quality of pearls is generally judged by texture, which is the soft iridescence caused by the reflection of light and layers of nacre that enhances luster and shine on the surface.
Fine pearls do not have flaws or spots on the surface and have an even smooth.
These pearls are very valuable.
Other factors that can affect the value of a pearl are shape, size and color.
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