It’s no surprise that pearls are highly sought after, well-worn, and the most loved gemstones in the jewelry world. Often known as the Queen of Jewels, they possess a timeless quality that captivates people from the time it was first discovered. Natural pearls are formed when an intruder gets inside the oysters’ shells and initiates the defense mechanism. As a result, oyster keeps on producing a coating until a natural pearl is created.
Are you curious to know more interesting facts about oysters and pearls? Scroll down the page to explore fun facts about this oldest gemstone.
- Pearls are the only gemstone to come from a living creature
Despite being classified as a gemstone, pearls usually differ from all other precious stones available, including rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. It is the only gemstone that is created by a living creature, oyster, as all others are obtained from the Earth’s crust when magma cools under high pressure.
- Natural Pearls are one of the rarest jewels
Pearls are broadly classified into two types – natural pearls and cultured pearls. You will be amazed to know that only 0.005% of the pearls available in the world are natural and the rest are cultured. The odds of actually finding a natural pearl in an oyster are 1 in 10,000 and the probability of mollusks producing a pearl of gemstone quality is 1 in 1 million.
- More than 99% of pearls on the market today are cultured
Since the odds of finding a natural pearl in oysters are extremely low, nearly all of the pearl jewels available on the market today are cultured. Production of a natural pearl is the rarest scenario as not all the mollusks can produce a pearl and not all the pearls are of gemstone quality.
- La Peregrina is the world’s most famous pearl
The most famous and historic pearl is La Peregrina. It is a pear-shaped pearl and is widely known for its unique shape and size. The history of this gemstone spans nearly 550 years. It was given to famous British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor as a Valentine’s Day gift.
- The world’s most expensive pearl is priced at $100 million
The cost of the most expensive pearl is around $100 million. It was discovered by a fisherman off the Philippines coast inside a massive clam. This pearl is 26 inches long and weighs around 75 pounds, making it the largest pearl that is known to exist.
- The oldest pearl dates back 7,500 years
Pearls are the world’s oldest gemstone as their history spans nearly 7500 years. It is located on a gravesite in the UAE and given the name of Umm al Quwain to reflect the region of the country it was discovered in.
- It takes around six months to form a pearl
More than 99% of the pearls are cultured, and they take at least six months to produce a pearl.