How Pearls Form
A pearl begins with an irritant (usually a piece of sand or shell) getting into an oyster’s shell….either naturally or by man (cultured). To protect itself, the oyster releases a secretion called nacre to cover the irritant. Over time, this secretion builds up and forms a pearl.
A cultured pearl takes much less time to create than a natural pearl—usually about three years, and since it takes less time to make a cultured pearl, the vast majority of pearls cultivated these days are cultured.
The Price of Pearls
The bigger the more valuable. Large natural pearls are worth more than similarly sized cultured pearls. Since perfectly round pearls are the most sought after, they’re the most valuable. Smoother pearls are worth more than grainy ones and the better the nacre, the brighter the lustre.
Keeping Your Pearls Looking Good Forever
Pearls love to be worn because they like humidity, but require proper care to keep them looking their best. Never use abrasives or solvents to clean pearls. Avoid cleaning products with ammonia. Do not use anything that could scratch the surface of your pearl, including toothbrushes. Steam cleaning or using an ultrasonic cleaner can damage pearls.
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