Most Pearls these days are cultured which means they ar […]
Most Pearls these days are cultured which means they are produced by special oysters in farms where a piece of mantle tissue and a small bead produced from mussels is placed within the oyster and then takes a period of 2 - 3 years for a pearl to form. The quality and color is controlled mostly by the oyster and man can do very little to effect the outcome. Therefore the very nicest qualities are relatively rare. External conditions such as weather and water temperature are also variables that are mostly out of Mans control, but effect the quality and amount of pearls that the Oysters will produce.
As with most things that people desire, supply and demand dictate the prices you will pay. Natural pearls are so rare to find in a random Oyster that those are extremely valuable and in such small supply they are non-existent except for the wealthiest consumers and then still not much is available. Pearls have always mystified mankind and represent the Moon and Purity and used to be crushed and used for stomach issues and other maladies - not so far fetched because pearls are made of Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Carbonate is used today to treat heartburn and acid indigestion. So with this long history and Man's fascination with beautiful things created by nature, it is no wonder why they are valuable and held in high regard by many people.
The natural baroque pearls are considered a precious gem. This is mainly due to their rarity. The rarity in turn is due to the fact that it takes an enormously long amount of time for the formation of these pearls inside an oyster.
The artificially cultured pearls have more of a semi-precious status. Cultured pearls are still extremely rare and good qualities are very low percentage of a harvest.
Firstly, many if the oysters die due to harsh water conditions and natural predators. Oysters are usually are around 2 years old before they can harvest a pearl. Some oysters reject the nucleus and 80% of pearls produced are not sold as gems. The the majority of pearls are not round have flaws and not very shiny. When you think of quality pearls you are dealing with only the top 5%. Finally, the total process takes years and requires prestine water and avoid tropical storms.