Pearls

 

Pearls are unique in the world of colored gemstones since they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Because natural pearls are so rare and difficult to recover from the ocean's depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks carefully seeded with irritants similar to those produced by nature. Today, cultured pearls are grown and harvested in many parts of the world including the fresh waters of the Tennessee River. The majority of cultured pearls come from Japan, China, and the South Pacific.

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