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Pearls are formed inside oysters when it accumulates a substance called nacre, which is actually, the mother of pearl, which lines the oyster shell. Pearls form when an organic irritant such as a parasite or food particle becomes trapped within the mollusk and gets lodged inside its shell. The shell protects itself from this solid piece of foreign object by secreting a crystalline form of calcium carbonate, derivative mineral of aragonite, and another substance called conchiolin, a binding protein. Both these substances are the same substances that the oyster uses to build its shell. The layers of calcium carbonate envelop the intruder and mix with the conchiolin, which acts as an organic glue binding the crystals together.
The mother of pearl, on the other hand, is the nacre, as previously mentioned. It is the material that lines the mollusks. The most common mollusks where mother of pearl came from are abalone and oysters. They are then dyed with different colors for a more attractive effect when used as decorative ornament or accessory.
These days, pearls and mother of pearl are used not just as women’s accessories and jewelry but as men’s accessories as well. Take the cuff links for instance. When they are used as such, they give men an overall look of elegance and class.
Nevertheless, bead jewelry like pearl and mother of pearl will always be considered timeless no matter how it is used. Because no two pearls and mother of pearls are exactly alike, they will always cater to both men and women’s unique personalities, therefore meeting the high demand in the pearl fashion market.