These Pearl Earrings in a Mussel Shell are a way of giving one of natures gifts in the gift box in which it was made. Hung on sterling silver ear wires, these hand crafted fresh water pearls are sure to be a unique gift.
Natural Pearls form when an irritant works its way into an oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.
Pearls can come from either salt or freshwater sources. The culturing process usually takes several years. Mussels must reach a mature age, which can take up to 3 years, and only then can be implanted or naturally receive an irritant. Once the irritant is in place, it can take up to another 3 years for the pearl to reach its full size and nacre thickness. Of the pearls produced, only approximately 5% are of sufficient true gem-quality for top jewelry makers, yet a pearl farmer can figure on spending over $100 for every oyster that is farmed, whether a gem-quality pearl is produced or not.