What is Pearl? While pearls are not formed on host rocks, pearls can be as expensive as the most beautiful precious stones, and pearls are also graded and curated just like gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire, etc. Pearls are byproducts of marine bivalves like oysters.
The pearls that we see are tiny foreign matters that have been coated for years by mother of pearl, or the shimmering substances that bivalve molluscs secret to protect themselves from foreign matter. Mother of pearl or nacre is naturally lustrous and shiny, which makes pearls the perfect items for jewellery.
The process of farming pearls has been around for centuries, and the Japanese are well-known for having a precise traditional method for culturing pearls. The most common colours of pearls are white, black, and sometimes even green.
Pearls also come in a variety of shapes, including drop, round, oval and nearly perfect circles. The range of pearls that are harvested worldwide can be wildly different. Much of what people recognize as pearls are the circular ones, but some pearls are large and look like teardrops or mangoes.
There is also a pearl that is elongated or oval. We owe the inconsistency of the shapes of pearls to the fact that nature doesn’t have a pattern for pearls, and pearls are just irritants coated by multiple layers of nacre over the years before the oysters or bivalve molluscs are finally harvested to recover the precious pearls inside.
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How is Pearl Made?
Pearls can be harvested from both saltwater and freshwater bodies. In saltwater pearl farms, oysters are used to create pearls. In freshwater farms (streams or rivers), the pearls are harvested from molluscs.
Pearl culture is one type of farming that requires utmost patience because it can take as long as seven years to produce some types of pearl. The process begins when oyster or molluscs are nucleated. This is the most important part of the process. Oysters or molluscs must first be ‘seeded’ with the core of what would later become pearls.
Pearl farming is a risky enterprise, as many things can go wrong. The oysters or molluscs can suddenly die to simple changes in the environment, like water pollution. Natural calamities such as typhoons can also affect the life and productiveness of a pearl farm. This is the reason why pearls are expensive in general – nature is hard to control, and it takes years of careful nurturing for pearls to be produced. Pearl farmers also farm the oysters used for pearl farming, so there is constantly a fresh stock of oysters developing that will eventually be used for creating pearls.
The nucleation process often requires a small piece of mantle tissue (from a donor oyster) and a piece of mother of pearl or nacre.
These are surgically grafted or inserted into the gonad of the oyster. Typically, a single oyster can produce anywhere were twenty-four to thirty-two pearls per culturing cycle. By cycle, we refer to the entirety of the period from larvae stage to harvesting, which can take many years.
After surgery, the oysters or molluscs are allowed to recover from the implantation of nucleates. Some of the animals will throw up or expel foreign matter. Others will simply die as a result of the surgery. The survivors will react with their natural immune system and release nacre to contain the foreign matter that has been inserted into their gonads.
Depending on the type of oyster that has been operated on to produce pearls, it may take several months to see at least a small grain of pearl in the oysters. Again, pearl farming is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for impatient people.
Pearl Meaning and Properties
The pearl is considered one of the most aged gemstones in history, even if it does not form on host rocks but is instead harvested from oysters. Pearls represented purity in many cultures and are often gifted to young women to symbolize their purity and fertility.
Pearls are also used as ancient or folk remedy for various physical ailments related to organs like the heart, kidneys, the stomach, etc. Ground-up pearl has also been linked to more youthful skin overall. Of course, it would be very expensive to simply grind up pearls nowadays as a single pearl necklace can easily go for several thousands of dollars in the jewellery market.
Who Should Wear Pearl?
Pearls are recommended for people suffering from organ unrest (kidneys, urinary issues, muscular issues, and the spleen), and it has also been indicated as effective in boosting the respiratory system and the immune system on the whole. Pearls can help lower the acidity of the body and heal headaches and migraines. People who suffer from acute or chronic issues of the lungs can also benefit from the essence of pearl.
Metaphysically, pearls can help bring balance to your life while improving your hormone levels (this is physical benefit tied to a metaphysical one), and pearls can also help relieve tension, stress, anxiety and excessive nervousness that can reduce your happiness and productivity. Pearls can also be helpful when you are seeking personal enlightenment, and when you want to reconnect with others in a positive manner.
If you are feeling constantly tense because of negativity from your surroundings, pearls can serve as a defensive ward against negativity, as well as anxiety. Pearls are also associated with truth or honesty, and being able to take responsibility for one’s actions in life. If you have ever been afraid of life in this manner, now is the time to get a gemstone that will help you overcome these difficulties.
This gemstone is also helpful in reducing the onset of mood swings, and it can help you deal with emotional baggage as a result of exposure to negative people. As pearls remove toxicity in your life, it will also naturally increase feelings of contentment and happiness. Use these positive feelings to immerse yourself in passions and desires that will make you happier in life. It is time to start boosting positivity in your life with pearls.