Pearls are organic and are formed in shellfish – mainly oysters and mussels. Pearls vary in colour from white, white with a hint of colour to brown or black, depending on the environment they have grown in.
Pearls are formed inside the shellfish as a natural defense against an irritant, such as grit. So when pearls are cultured (grown on purpose for our pleasure) a small ‘bead’ is inserted in the shellfish and left for the shellfish to cover in layers of aragonite, known as nacre. Gradually these layers build up to form a solid pearl. Light reflecting from these overlapping layers produces a characteristic iridescent luster. It is the number and depth of these nacre layers that directly relate to the quality of the pearl.
So a pearl with only a few nacre layers has only had a short time to grow and does not have the depth for the pearl luster to shine. These pearls are not as valuable as the pearls that have had longer to grow.
www.creativelybelle.com – win these earrings with our free competition!