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The Amazing Pearl

Pearl is known to its exquisite look and can be as expensive as diamonds.  Pearl is hard, lustrous spherical mass that is typically found in white, cream, black, grey or silver.  The body colour, is often modified by additional colours called overtones, which are typically pink, green, purple, or blue. Some pearls also show the iridescent phenomenon known as orientcolour.  It shines and sparkle distinctively which shows its own class of gem.  Pearl is a gem that is made and develops underwater unlike any other jewel.  Pearls can be harvested in both natural and modern cultured.  There are six factors involved in determining the quality, value and beauty of a pearl which are nacre, luster, surface, shape, colour and size.

Pearl can be found in the seawater oysters and freshwater mussels.  A pearl takes years to form. It comes from the constant effort and time an oyster puts into changing something painful into a beautiful and bearable outcome   Pearl is made as a means of defense against irritant such as parasite, sands and others that enters the shell which could bother the flesh and the shell.  The oyster or mussel slowly secretes layers of aragonite and conchiolin, materials that is used to form the shell.  This creates a material called ‘nacre’ also known as mother-of-pearl, which covers the irritant to protect the mollusc from it.  Cultured pearl which is produced commercially, an irritant is manually embedded into the mollusc to promote the production of mother-of-pearl.  The nacre can form naturally around any irritant that gets inside the shell creating very unique and precious pearls.

Comparisons of seawater and freshwater pearls

Life has its own teaching when one really thinks about it.  Pearls are a symbol of wisdom, luck, purity, and love. Like other precious stones and crystals, they contain powerful energy and abilities. Some believe pearls have the power to heal the body, mind, and soul.  Pearls teach us to be resilient and brave.


By: Dr. Adila Mohamad Jaafar, Chemistry Division, ASPer

Date of Input: 11/05/2023 | Updated: 11/05/2023 | emma


Centre of Foundation Studies for Agricultural Science
Universiti Putra Malaysia
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