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Friday, September 29, 2023

How are pearls formed actually?

Pearls are unique and exclusive precious stones with great value since only they come from a living being. For this reason, many jewelers create precious jewels with them, such as Jorge Juan Joyeros. But how are pearls formed? There are numerous myths about the origin and formation of this phenomenon that divers and scientists have investigated.

If you want to know more, we will explain everything about pearls, from their origin and formation to their obtaining. The pearl is one of the most precious goods. Discover the reasons and truths of pearls in the following article!

How pearls are formed actually?

how are pearls formed

Now that you know its origin, you should know the phenomenon of its formation. The pearls originate in those living mollusks in which an external agent has penetrated, be it a fragment of shell, a grain of sand or a parasite. The mollusk instinctively covers this particle with nacre. A substance made up of calcium carbonate, water, and organic matter. This natural protection method of the mollusk towards the foreign body gives rise to natural pearls, which are nacre cysts.

As of 1893, this natural phenomenon gave rise to the possibility of creating pearls through cultivation since by monitoring the process, an irritant could be introduced into the mollusk through a delicate incision, which gave rise to the formation of this stone. At the end of the 19th century, a natural and casual phenomenon was converted into a method of cultivating pearls. Today, almost all of the ones we find on the market are cultivated. Natural pearls are very difficult to find and are extremely expensive.

Pearls are one of the most precious and valued gemstones on the planet. They are very exclusive since they are formed within the white tissue of a mollusk, giving way to this shiny and hard piece. Because they come from a living being, no pearl is the same and can vary depending on the area in which it is collected, in addition to its color, size or shape, giving rise to different types of pearls, such as:

Sea pearls.
River pearls.
White pearls.
Black pearls.
Round pearls.
Baroque pearls.

But can we find pearls in all mollusks? The answer is no. Pearls are generally formed in bivalve mollusks, those with two shells, such as oysters and mussels.

How pearls are grown?

While this is the natural phenomenon of pearl creation, there is also its cultivation. This exploitation is used to manufacture jewelry, such as those found in Jorge Juan Joyeros, and is the most common pearl formation method today. To obtain many pearls through their cultivation, temperate waters are usually chosen, such as the Caribbean, the Persian Gulf, Australia, Japan or Vietnam, the main pearl-producing countries.

Human intervention pearl formation occurs by rearing large numbers of oyster larvae, which feed on phytoplankton to become small mollusk. They are then transferred to the sea in special cages to guarantee their survival for two years.

After these two years, the second phase of pearl formation begins nucleation.


This is a phase carried out by experts in which a live oyster is introduced into a piece of nacre mantle, previously extracted from another oyster. A small spherical body is immediately incorporated to allow the oyster to carry out its method of natural protection through the secretion of nacre that will give rise to the pearl.

Back to the sea

Once the oysters have been nucleated, they are returned to the sea, placing them in mesh panels to facilitate food and water flow. They will need to be cleaned every two months so that parasites and mosses that they usually attract do not clog the flow of plankton and water.

how are pearls formed

Pearl gathering

After a few months, when the oyster has already made layers and layers of mother-of-pearl isolate the external agent and hardened, the pearl is ready to be collected. The production time of the pearl is usually about 3 and a half years. This is a very slow process. Furthermore, although oysters are treated with great care, only 5% survive and are capable of producing pearls.

Pearl extraction

Finally, when the pearl has already originated in the oyster, it is time to extract it. To do this, you have to cut the mantle of the oyster to reach the pearl. If the oyster survives this intervention, it can continue to be used to create new pearls. Unfortunately, however, most of these mollusks die in the process.

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