Visual Encyclopedia

Pearl

A pearl is a hard glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk or another animal, such as a conulariid. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate (mainly aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite) in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes, known as baroque pearls, can occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries. Because of this, pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.

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A pearl is a beautiful object that is created inside of an oyster. Most people do not think of how to destroy such rare and unique objects, but the lady in my video who collects real pearls has a knack for science experiments and decided to test how to make a pearl vanish: Her discovery to make a pearl disintegrate was to place it in a glass of vinegar. The pearl-dissolving process take a couple of days, but vinegar does actually make a pearl vanish! Who knew, right?

Contributed by Breanna Woolf

Beautiful pearl bridal accessory by Whichgoose

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

Ever wondered how a pearl is made? Surprisingly, the process is similar to getting a splinter! Check it out.

Contributed by Nicole Huffman

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