Pearls are one of nature's most beautiful creations. Widely considered to be the world's oldest gem, their first discovery predates written history. Originally worn only by those wealthy enough to afford such a rare and gorgeous treasure, pearls have come to be more widely available - but certainly no less special. Read on to learn about the incredible and inspiring journey of how pearls form!
A natural pearl begins its life inside an oyster's shell. Oysters, a type of mollusk, have two shells. Each shell has a layer (called a "mantle") that protects the mollusk's organs. The formation of a pearl starts when a foreign substance gets between the oyster's mantle and shell. This irritant causes the oyster to defend itself by producing a mineral substance called "nacre" (also known as mother-of-pearl) to coat the foreign substance. Over time, these layers form into a pearl.
Natural pearls are both exceptionally rare and extremely expensive, as not every oyster will produce a pearl in its lifetime. And if it does, it can take between 2 and 4 years to fully form. Cultured pearls are a safe and cost-effective alternative to natural pearls, and have just as much gorgeous lustre.
Cultured pearls form in the exact same way as natural pearls - the only difference is that the irritant is placed there by an experienced pearl farmer who is in charge of multiple oysters. Having multiple oysters will result in much higher chances of pearls forming, resulting in more pearls being available on the market. The ingenuity of cultured pearls means that these gorgeous gems are readily accessible for everyone to enjoy, not just the super rich.
In its final form, a pearl is as wise as it is enchanting. There is a saying, "no grit, no pearl!" essentially meaning that our most important achievements often are a result of the most irritating obstacles. No matter what life throws at us, these setbacks cause us to become more empowered. We will overcome any struggles and come out the other side more radiant than ever.
The pearl symbolises beauty and promotes love, care, and wisdom in the wearer. So wear your pearls with pride: each one is as beautiful and strong as you are!
What do pearls mean to you? Tell us in the comments below!