Pearls form inside living mollusks in subtropical and tropical waters.
Pearls have a hardness of 3 ½ - 4. They range in colour from white to silver-white, cream, yellow, pink, greenish, bluish and black. Pearls develop when a foreign particle becomes trapped within the shell, irritating the oyster.
Cultured pearls are produced by placing a small bead, ground from mother-of-pearl shell and wrapped in a piece of mantle, into the body of a three year old oyster. Implanted oysters are left for up to four years in special cages suspended from floats in sea farms.
Pearls historically are a symbol of purity, innocence and faith, pearls enhance personal integrity and help clear one’s mind so that it may be a clean and clear channel for wisdom and spiritual guidance. They were once thought to be the tears of gods and goddesses in different ancient lore.
A pearl necklace worn four thousand years ago by the Persian queen Achaemenid may still be admired today if one was to visit the Louvre in France.
The pearl jewelry of the Queen of Sheba has become legendary over the centuries and it has been told that Cleopatra only drank wine with ground pearls in it to protect herself from poisoning.
Simmons, Robert; Ahsian, Naisha. The Book of Stones, Revised Edition: Who They Are and What They Teach (several pages). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.