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Science

How is the pearl made?

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A natural pearl forms when an irritant works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk secretes a fluid to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is formed.

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Pearls are made when a small irritant finds its way inside an oyster which can be a grain of sand or a piece of shell but more typically is a little parasite. This bothers the recipient, which then slowly secretes nacre to protect itself. Nacre coats the inside of an oyster's shell.

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