"Each pearl is a jewel of wisdom, wrestled from struggle and strung in sequence to create infinite insight and compassion for the mermaid who wears them."
Pearls are the only gemstones made by living animal. Mollusks create pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells.
All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at around three years of age.
Although any shelled mollusk can produce a pearl, the more valuable pearls are made in oysters.
The color of the pearl depends on the color of the inside of the shell it comes from. The elements within a shell have a natural pigmentation which appears as grey, blue, green, yellow, pink or orange. These hues are absorbed into the surface of the pearl.
Pearls are incredibly rare, being found in about one of every 10,000 oysters.