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What You Need to Know About Pearls

Pearls are considered to be organic gems as they are regarded to be created by living organisms. The process of creating a pearl begins the very instant a particle find itself in the shell of freshwater or marine mollusk such as oysters and clams. Thanks to an in-built defense mechanism, the particle is then coated with nacre until it becomes large enough to be considered to be a pearl. Usually pearls are classified on the basis of their origin and shape. There are four types of pearls when it comes to their origin namely natural, cultured, freshwater and saltwater pearls. The difference between the first two types of pearls is that with cultured pearls, human intervention occurs while with natural pearls, a particle enters the shell, and which is coated by nacre, only this time, by accident. While natural pearls are sold by their carat weight, cultured pearls are sold by their size in millimeters. Since most natural pearls are vintage pearls, they are considered to be rare and expensive while cultured pearls are usually harvested regularly. As for salt water pearls, they are subdivided into natural and cultured pearls as they can be found in saltwater mollusks. Freshwater pearls are usually grown in mollusks that live in a lake or river. Finally, pearls are classified by their shape as well such baroque, spherical and symmetrical pearls. As suggested, spherical pearls are round in shape, which is the most desired shape, while symmetrical pearls are pear-shaped among other shapes but aren’t round in shape. On the other hand, Baroque pearls are irregular in size, and are least expensive of the lot.