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More about Pearl: The discovery that pearls could be cultivated in freshwater mussels is said to have been made in 13th-century China, and the Chinese have been adept for hundreds of years at cultivating pearls by opening the mussels shell and inserting into it small pellets of mud and returning the mussel to its bed for about three years to await the maturation of a pearl formation. Cultured pearls of China have been almost exclusively blister pearls. The production of whole cultured pearls was perfected by the Japanese. The research that led to the establishment of the industry was started in the 1890s by Mikimoto Kokichi, who, after long experimentation, concluded that a very small mother-of-pearl bead introduced into the mollusks tissue was the most successful stimulant to pearl production. Cultured pearls closely approximate natural pearls. The color of pearls varies with the mollusk and its environment. It ranges from black to white, with the rose of Indian pearls esteemed most. Other colors are cream, gray, blue, yellow, lavender, green, and mauve. Cultured pearls are being produced in virtually every color of the rainbow. When a foreign particle penetrates the mantle, the cells attach to the particle and build up more or less concentric layers of pearl around it. Irregularly shaped pearls called baroque pearls are those that have grown in muscular tissue. Pearls that grow adjacent to the shell are often flat on one side and are called blister pearls. The more perfect its shape (spherical or droplike) and the deeper its lustre, the greater its value. The surface of a pearl is rough to the touch. Pearls come in a wide range of sizes. Those weighing less than 1/4 grain (1 pearl grain = 50 milligrams = 1/4 carat) are called seed pearls. The largest naturally occurring pearls are the baroque pearls; one such pearl is known to have weighed 1,860 grains. Cultured pearl is natural but cultivated pearl produced by a mollusk after the intentional introduction of a foreign object inside the creatures shell. Pearl is the mother stone. Fosters motherly love and is a protective stone. Pearls are said to redress mental disturbance, endow maternal bliss, grant success in education, and also give access to property and vehicles. The stone redresses gastric disorders, asthma, cough, eye trouble, breathing trouble as also lung disorders. The finest Oriental pearls are found in the Persian Gulf. Other notable sources of fine-quality pearls include the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka, the waters off Indonesia, the Gulf of California, the Gulf of Mexico, and the waters of the Pacific coast of Mexico

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