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The birth of a pearl

A cultured pearl is a true jewel of the sea, born of the joint efforts of Nature, Man and the mother-of-pearl. It is the creative forces of Nature that bestow upon the pearl its shape and rare beauty. Whereas precious stones must be polished before they sparkle, pearls already have a warm glow right out of the oyster.

The birth of a pearl is nevertheless an exciting event. Imagine a pearl oyster gently bobbing at the bottom of the sea, doing nothing but filtering the plankton, its only food, from the water. One day, an intruder—such as a grain of sand— finds its way into the oyster’s body in such a way that it is unable to expel it. A defensive action is then set off in the form of the secretion of nacre—the pearly material that builds up in concentric layers around the intruder and hardens up to form the pearl.

Cultured pearls are formed in quite the same way as natural pearls except for one tiny detail. Man plays Nature’s part by introducing an irritant into the oyster—the nucleus—and then steps aside to allow Nature do its work.
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