Friday, January 2, 2009

Freshwater Pearls

This time the “stone” up for discussion is the pearl. All of the pearls in my pieces are cultured freshwater pearls. A pearl forms when there is and irritation within the tissue of a bivalve mollusks ( a science word that I learned from my mother ) such as a mussel or oyster. The pearl then forms when a mother of pearl substance, nacre, is secreted and sticks to the irritation. There has always been a common teaching that the irritation was a grain of sand. However, here comes the science lesson, nacre will not stick to anything inorganic, sand is inorganic. The irritation must be organic such as a piece of foreign tissue or parasite. In the case of cultured freshwater pearls a piece of tissue from another oyster or mussel is implanted and the process begins. There are other methods but this seems to be the most common practiced. Just a few random pieces of information.

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