Oysters: All you need to know about the fancy clams

The oysters are also bivalves , that have the capability to produce pearls inside their bodies. These pearls are merely nacre spheres, which are worldwide recognized as gems  

How are the pearls created?

First we should mention that pearls,  are obtained naturally. When a foreign object manages to enter inside the oyster , the mollusk produces a reaction covering  the object with particles that contain a mixture of crystals.  According to several studies, these crystals are not more than calcium carbonate (CaCO3), mixed with a protein called conchiolina.

Now, after the mollusk expels these substances is when the nacre is generated; and then this is the final substance that covers the paleal cavity of the oyster, that is; the inner walls of the shells. However, this is not the whole process, since after a certain time the particle that had entered is covered by many more layers of mother-of-pearl, and the pearl becomes completely formed as it is known after 10 years have passed.

Let´s learn more about this process

Characteristics Of Pearls

After the whole process of creation of these pearls has been completed; after a few years when the organism that once entered the body of the mollusk,  already becomes a sphere of nacre layers, it is considered as a pearl and presents certain peculiar characteristics.

First of all these pearls, usually vary in color, shapes and sizes. The most outstanding feature of these pearls, is attributed to ooysters: wish pearl in oysterstheir  brightness; which originates thanks to the luminous reflection on the crystalline surface. On the other hand, they also contain iridescence, that is originated by refraction and luminous diffraction that occurred in the multiple layers of nacre, a substance known for being translucent.

Therefore when joining several layers in the process the result that is obtained is a totally bright sphere.

Among other characteristics of the pearls, is the high value attributed to them. The color and the shape of the pearl, are the main aspects to set its value.  Usually white pearls have the biggest demand, and of course are more expensive. Another common criteria is the shape of the pearl, in some cases the demand grows by pearls of spherical shape in a perfect way; but in other cases there is a preference for pearls with shapes similar to a drop or tear. Everything will depend on the fashion trends of the moment.


As for the history of oysters ; it can be said that since those animals were discovered, their pearls have been extracted to be used, in various decorations during different periods. Then, the investigations affirm that since prehistoric times, the pearls have been highly valued  and employed in decoration.

Moreover, the manufacture of jewelry with pearls, is a task that has been carried out for a long time; where determination was required and was highly valued. For this reason, the little frequency of these pearls gave rise,  to its exclusive use by the nobility, giving this way more value to the oysters. In its beginnings, the regions where the use of pearls was most popular were India, and other areas of Asia. Then, its use  was propelled in Europe, it was there where more uses were added to the pearls, being employed for bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and earrings. Then they gained more popularity, when the pearls were also implemented in the haute couture dresses for royalty.

Now, their value has decreased, since it´s not so difficult to find them, due to the different crops that are carried out, which has devalued the price of pearls .

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