Pearls have now become a common jewellery accessory these days. However, for the longest time, pearls were worn only by the royals and the bureaucrats. This was because their availability was limited as these were extracted by professional divers from the deep trenches of the sea.
In the year 1893, Kokichi Mikimoto from Japan created the first cultured pearl. Hence, increasing the availability for this priceless gem made it affordable to everyone. Both real and cultured pearls are created in the oyster and mollusc shells. Read here to find out more about the differences between real and cultured pearls.
Both real as well as cultured pearls are made by the coating of nacre on the irritant that enters the oyster or mollusc shell. Although, in the wild it happens naturally, but in cultured process, this irritant (usually a mantle tissue) is inserted by incision. The ideal environment is created by the farmers whereas the possibility of forming a pearl is slightly less in the wild due to predators and other conditions.
Earlier, divers would enter deep waters to bring back oyster and mollusc shells to the land, then crack them open to check for pearls. This led to many countries banning pearl diving due to the rising threat of diminishing rate of oysters and molluscs. However, on land, farmers use precision tools to carefully remove and then insert irritants for further production.
In the wild, pearls may take up to 7 years, but under controlled condition this may happen in about 3 – 4 years.
It is very rare to find a completely spherical pearl. However, under controlled conditions, it is more likely to be able to have a preferred shape. Similarly, the coloured ones can also be easily controlled.
Natural pearls are comparatively more expensive than cultured pearls due to their rarity.
Pearls are a symbol of beauty and prosperity. Gifting one to your loved ones will make them feel special. So, choose wise and choose the best option for your special someone and make them feel happy today!