Like how Marilyn Monroe sings it, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what about the other best friend, pearls?

Now, we all know that pearls are harvested from oysters. What happens is that the oyster gets a sand particle or little pebble into its shell. It gets irritated the way you would when dust gets in your eye. You tear up as a result. The oyster “tears up” too, by secreting a pearly substance called “nacre” that coats up the sand particle overtime to form a pearl.

Have you ever seen pearls being taken out from oysters before? I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t!

Pearl oyster

We were at a department store where they had a pearl counter. The guy had piles of pearl oysters in front of him and he was harvesting pearls from them!

Pearl being harvested from an oyster

It looked to be a fairly easy and quick process. The guy was sitting back and looking incredibly bored as he was getting the beautiful pearls out of those oysters.

1) pry open the oyster.
2) flip over the tiny flap containing the pearl.
3) take out the pearl and cleanse it to get rid of the oyster stench.

The guy said that these were specially bred pearl oysters and it took 3 to 5 years for the oysters to turn the irritants into pearls. The pearls ranged in various colours (white, peach, golden), sizes and shapes. Apparently, the round ones are pretty rare. Oysters like their pearls to be oval in shape.


There you go! A real pearl taken right out of a real oyster!