Guide to Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls are formed by inducing mollusks to produce nacre, the primary component of pearls. They are made by inserting an irritant, such as grit or beads, into a mollusk's shell. This causes the mollusk to produce layers of nacre over the irritant, which gradually harden into a pearl. Mollusks are usually placed in specific environments to control the shape, size, and thickness of the pearl. Cultured pearls look exactly the same as natural pearls, except when viewed under an x-ray.
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