About 4,000 years ago, a Chinese fisherman who decided that oysters might satisfy his hunger opened a few and was probably the first man to discover pearls! Pearls are made of the same material as the mother-of-pearl lining in the shells of the oyster. The body of the oyster is very tender, so to protect itself it secretes this mother-of-pearl lining to provide a smooth surface against its body.
When an irritating object, such as a grain of sand, manages to get inside the oyster’s shell, the oyster coats it with layer after layer of mother-of-pearl—and this becomes a pearl! When this happens naturally, the pearl may be perfectly shaped. But man has found a may help the oyster along in the making of pearls.
A bit of sand or a tiny piece of mother-of-pearl is inserted between the shell and the outer skin of‘ the oyster. After two or years, when these shells arc taken from the water and opened, a pearl is found inside. These are called “cultured” pearls and are not usually perfectly
In Japan, they have now learned how to make perfect cultured pearls. The irritating material is put right into the body of the oyster. This is really a surgical operation requiring great care and delicacy, because the oyster must be kept alive.
The largest pearl found is said to have been 5 centimeters long and 10 centimeters round. Because pearls are expensive, most of us buy artificial pearls. The French make beautiful artificial pearls by taking hollow glass beads, lining them with a substance that comes from the shiny scales of certain fish, and then filling the beads with wax.
What Is The Rarest Color For A Pearl?
Blue pearls from the South Seas that occur naturally are probably the rarest of all naturally occurring pearl colors.