how pearls are formed

How Pearls are Formed5 min read

How do oysters make pearls?

how pearls are formed

How do natural pearls form?

From irritation – irritation is responsible for such a gem!

When a foreign body like sand, parasite, or some sort of irritating matter, finds its way inside the oyster it comes in contact with the mantle. The oyster finds the matter inside it discomforting and in response, the soft mantle that protects the inside starts to deposit a substance called nacre onto it.

With time, the oyster applies several layers of nacre to the foreign body, consequently walling it off from itself. This eventually forms a pearl. The shape of the invading matter is a potential contributing factor to the shape of the pearl.

An external impact damaging the shell also triggers the mantle to repair the damage. It’s the same substance that coats the inner part of the shell that the shell is made of.

It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. Like getting a shard of glass between your fingernail and skin.

The internal process of the pearl formation is mostly the same whether the pearl was created naturally or cultivated both in freshwater or saltwater environments.

Natural pearls are usually more expensive simply because they are more rare, particularly the spherical variety. They’re sought after for making jewellery because they don’t break when drilled.

Oysters are hard on the outside but soft on the inside. The soft mantle protects the oyster from irritants.

Cultured pearls are cultivated by giving a slight nudge to the oyster – (by) introducing mother of pearl nuclei into the mantle. Additionally, these are balls of ground, polished mussel shell.

In freshwater cultured pearls, cutting the mantle is enough to induce the pearl-producing nacre.

Pearls come in a variety of shapes and colours and sadly, not all pearls turn out as expected.

In both cases of pearl cultivation, once the oysters are ready, they are removed from the water and placed in a dry location. The oysters open at some point to reveal their shiny pearl.

Pearl lustre is the amount of brilliance and quantity of light that reflects from the surface and just under the surface of a pearl. And this is where the pearl gets its priceless shine.

The more lustrous a pearl is, the more it reflects which means more nacre and that correspondingly implies more value. Meaning it took more time to produce more nacre because of the irritation and discomfort.

Most jewels are produced from precious metals dug from the Earth, but pearls are found only inside a living creature – an oyster. And only mature oysters produce pearls.

Additionally, saltwater pearls tend to have greater lustre than freshwater pearls and it takes two to three years to form!

SO WHAT? Well, humans make pearls too!


“Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress.” – Thomas Edison.

Once in a while, we encounter some irritating circumstances. Some of them are self-induced while others are externally inflicted. These matters get to our soft hearts and we become uncomfortable.

They come in different ways: Oprah Winfrey felt poverty and molestation; Joyce Meyer was molested in every way by her father; Tony Robbins grew up poor and ran from home; Dwayne Johnson suffered depression; Elon Musk was bullied as a kid, broke and homeless when he moved to Canada… and the list goes on.

The hurt, the disappointments, the betrayals, the sleepless nights, being broke and pushed to the wall…

My great friend Oluseun Oyeleke once shared – “Your potential sometimes is like a ‘mine’ it won’t explode till people step on it.”

Whether self-imposed or not we’ve got two choices about our irritations – react or respond.  We can react by worrying or respond by turning the situation into a pearl.

And that is how in the face of recession people become rich, wounded players turn coaches, the weak became heavyweight champions, artistes created platinum records, and curses turned blessings.

And Isaac told Esau “…but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

Turn that yoke into a blessing.

Look for the seed of good in every situation. Turn the pain into a come-back! I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough time and time again but the same people call back to say ‘you’re good.’ I cultured myself not to react, but respond.

Whatever you’re going through is meant to make you; not break you. Something good can always come out of it. Understand how you function in these sticky situations and turn them around.

Not many know the story behind the lustrous shine or see the sleepless nights you put in but one day they will see the pearl when it’s ready. This is one of nature’s miracles – turning sad stories into unforgettable lustres.

keep writing, singing, keep inventing and enduring, pushing against all odds, burning the midnight oil, praying and trying. One day the irritation and discomfort will become something beautiful.

“Let the irritation become your motivation for a lustrous radiation.” – NeuroKing

As a pearl is an irritating substance covered with layers of nacre, so is every success story with a core of discomfort fought within.

The window of opportunity closes fast like the clam. Seize the opportunity to show the world your pearl. It takes care and patience to bring it out.

You’re a diamond in the rough. A pearl in the making.

You’ve got all it takes within you to turn every unwanted matter into a priceless gem.

how pearls are formed

A collection of the results of these irritations form the crown of glory people see. And the experiences bead around your neck as pearls of wisdom. But not everyone knows how they form. Make every experience count. Real gems are priceless heirlooms passed down.

And that is the story of every pearl that makes a crown, bracelet or necklace; the story of every man and woman who is a success story.

Pearls are not found just anywhere. You dive in and get them. Your ability to turn these discomforting occurrences into pearls is what makes the difference.

All you need is patient through the process. Just hold on…

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  1. This is so inspiring, most people don’t know there’s a story behind every glory, some know but want just the glory without the story. It’s a must – read for every one who wants to genuinely grow through the processes of life in order to be a thorough bred! Kudos NeuroKing, the world is waiting to hear your story, God bless you!