How Pearls Grow

An oyster produces a pearl when an irritant becomes trapped inside the oyster. The irritant can be any type of foreign material. The oyster responds to the presence of the irritation by producing nacre. The nacre coats the irritation to produce a pearl.

Nacre is a complex mixture of calcium and proteins. The special way the calcium and proteins in nacre are joined makes it both hard and lustrous when layer upon layer of nacre is combined. The beauty and luster of your pearls are the result of hundreds and hundreds of layers of nacre.

This is the reason that each oyster must receive the best care for several years while it makes your pearl. The small seeds or irritants used in the cultured oysters we sell come from carefully selected mollusk shells which grow in the Mississippi River area. After being cut into round seeds and carefully polished, the pearl seeds are surgically inserted into the body of the oyster.

Every oyster is implanted with one pearl seed–and very rarely, two seeds–along with a small piece of mantle, a tissue that secretes mother-of-pearl and produces the nacre to coat the pearl seed. The beauty of your pearls reflect the skill of pearl culturing developed over generations and the years of care that each oyster received.