Pearls in the Bag or Baggins
In my never ending fascination of pearl jewelry and all things related to pearls in general, I recently stumbled upon the Baggins web site, chock full of pearl jewelry!
Pictured are some big-momma pearls from the South Sea, but they also carry pearls from just about any place you can get them these days including Keshi, Akoya, and Tahitian pearls.
Enjoy today's pearl fest!
If you are curious about how pearls are farmed these days, then check out the pearl information on Wikipedia:
Generally a difference is made between natural and cultured pearls. This difference focuses on whether the pearl was created by nature, without man's intervention or with the help of man. In both cases however the genesis of a pearl can generally be outlined as follows:
Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain bivalve mollusks. As a response to an irritant inside its shell, the mollusk will deposit layers of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineralsor calcite (both crystalline forms of calcium carbonate) held together by an organic horn-like compound called conchiolin.This combination of calcium carbonate and conchiolin is called nacre, or as most know it, mother-of-pearl. The commonly held belief that a grain of sand acts as the irritant is in fact rarely the case. Typical stimuli include organic material, parasites, or even damage that displaces mantle tissue to another part of the animal's body. These small particles or organisms enter the animal when the shell valves are open for feeding or respiration. In cultured pearls, the irritant is typically a cut piece of the mantle epithelium, together with processed shell beads, the combination of which the animal accepts into its body.