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All About Pearls

Here are a couple of facts that you may or may not have known about one of the most traditional gems in history.

Fact 1: Most people are aware that pearls grow inside shell-shaped mollusks, but did you know that they are, in fact, the only gems to take root inside living organisms? All other gems have their origins in rocks and stones; only the pearl ‘lives’ in the flesh of an organic creature. (You might be thinking, “But what about amber?”  That is a good point, but amber only forms into its ‘gem’ form outside of the tree, so the pearl is in fact, the only gem to form in an organic source!)

Fact 2: You’ve seen pearls come in all sorts of colors, from the most basic ivory (which is naturally where we get the phrase “pearly white”) to deep ebony and everything in between. Did you ever wonder how jewelers dye these balls of crystalline calcium? Well, as it turns out, the colors are completely natural. What determines a pearl’s hue? Its mollusk “parent.” Whatever color you find on the inside of the mollusk shell is the color that pearl will retain, although other factors will influence the shade and hues of the color.

Bonus fact: If you’re looking for a gift, pearls are the perfect embodiment of the winter spirit because—just like snowflakes—every pearl is absolutely unique.

 

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