Precious Stones The Big Five-Part 5 The Pearl
Since pearls are so rare and possess such a high degree of natural beauty, they have been considered to be among the most splendid of gems for many centuries.
The people of India and Persia (Iraq) were among the earliest to collect pearls, because of the rich fisheries of Ceylon and the Persian Gulf, the Indian and Persian princes in the last century, acquired huge collections of pearls that have never been equaled, these collections would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars today.
Pearls A Natural Wonder
Natural or real pearls are made by oysters and other mollusks. Cultured pearls also are grown by mollusks, but with human intervention; that is, an irritant introduced into the shells causes a pearl to grow. Imitation pearls are man-made with glass, plastic, or organic materials.
Because natural pearls are very rare, most pearls used in jewelry are either cultured or imitation pearls. Cultured pearls, because they are made by oysters or mollusks, usually are more expensive than imitation pears. A cultured pearl