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Pearl

Stones - Information from Wikipedia

Pearl:-

PearlA pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusc. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable. Whether wild or cultured, gem quality pearls are almost always nacreous and iridescent, as is the interior of the shell that produces them. However, almost all species of shelled molluscs are capable of producing pearls (formally referred to as "calcareous concretions" by some sources) of lesser shine or less spherical shape. Although these may also be legitimately referred to as "pearls" by geological labs and are formed in the same way, most of them have no value, except as curiosities. Freshwater and saltwater pearls may sometimes look quite similar, but they come from different sources. Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family Unionidae, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder more temperate areas such as Scotland (where they are protected under law). Most freshwater cultured pearls are sold today come from China. Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, family Pteriidae, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls. The value of the pearls in jewellery is determined by a combination of the lustre, colour, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry that are appropriate for the type of pearl under consideration. Among those attributes, lustre is the most important differentiator of pearl quality according to jewellers. All factors being equal, however, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. Large, perfectly round pearls are rare and highly valued. Teardrop-shaped pearls are often used in pendants.

 

 

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