Since the very first time a human opened a mollusc and discovered a pearl treasure hidden within, the pearl has been revered for its unique beauty. Once unbelievably rare and available only to the upper classes of society, scientific innovations have since made it more readily available.
Inherently more fragile than gems made from minerals, pearls are made from a living organism. Unlike other gems, they require no cutting, faceting or polishing to release their natural beauty, though are often worked to fit a given piece of jewellery.
In nature, a pearl is created when a foreign object, usually a grain of sand or a piece of shell, becomes trapped inside a pearl mollusc (shell). To protect itself from the irritant, the mollusc begins to cover the object with mother of pearl nacre. Over time, the irritant will become completely enclosed in multiple layers of nacre. Pearls come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizing, ranging from whole-round pearls, blister pearls to blisters, and form in both freshwater and salt water.