Pearls, widely used in jewelry, are considered one of the oldest and most beautiful materials. It is good because it practically does not require additional processing. Carefully selected pearls are characterized by a regular shape, white, black, yellow or pink color, as well as a mother-of-pearl sheen. The most amazing thing is that these creations of nature are of organic origin.
What is the origin of pearls
The ancient Greeks sincerely believed that pearls were the frozen tears of mermaids. During the Middle Ages, there were legends according to which merciful angels hide the tears of little orphans and those who are innocently offended in shells. When solidified, drops of liquid turn into rounded pearls, medieval romantics believed. But how does this treasure actually arise?
Pearls are unusual in that they are of animal origin. It does not form in the bowels of the planet, like diamonds, sapphires or emeralds. Pearls form, grow and develop in the shells of bivalve molluscs. However, not every shell contains such a jewel. Why is this happening? This is due to the accident and the ability of the mollusk to adapt to external threats.
How pearls are formed
Researchers have long established that each pearl appears as a result of a shellfish's defensive reaction. If a parasite or foreign inclusion, for example, a grain of sand, accidentally gets into the shell, they begin to irritate the body of the mollusk. He has no way of getting rid of the foreign body. Therefore, the mollusk begins to actively envelop the stranger with many layers of a special substance. This process takes place in the same way that the shell is formed.
If you carefully examine the shell of a river or sea mollusk, you can see a beautiful shining ebb. The clam's mantle produces nacre, which forms the inner layer of the shell. It is this substance that becomes the protection of a living organism from uninvited guests. By covering the foreign object with layers of mother-of-pearl, the mollusk eliminates the threat. The alien body turns out to be securely walled up in a shiny ball, beautifully iridescent in the light.
In other words, the foreign inclusion becomes a kind of crystallization center and turns into a "embryo" of a nacreous ball. However, it happens that pearls are not formed when a foreign object enters the shell, but around a bubble of liquid or gas. A small fragment of the mollusk itself can also become the center of crystallization, when part of its tissue dies off for some reason.
The shape of the "embryo" and its location will determine the configuration of the future pearl. A foreign object may be located at the very surface of the sink. In this case, the pearl will take on an irregular shape, and one side of it will not be protected by mother-of-pearl. If the "pouch" is formed directly in the mantle area, the pearl usually acquires the correct rounded shape. Such creations of nature are of the highest quality.