So whats the big secret?? The wonderful fabulous treasures found in an oysters shell! I have always been in love with pearls of all kinds and colors, but my most favorite are the oddly shaped also known as Baroque Pearls..in iridescent cremes and pinks...but little did I know that this beautiful creation was a result of the oyster's (pearls can also be formed in other mollusks such as clams and mussels in rare occurances) means of protecting itself from a foreign invader!
Pearls can be formed in both freshwater and saltwater, occur naturally or be cultered by pearl farmers...so basically a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell which irritates the oyster...kind of like when you get a splinter... the natural reaction is to cover up substance to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of nacre, also known as "mother of pearl", which is the substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl, which is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Isn't that amazing!
In literature pearls are often symbolic of tears, the Orient, the sea, and a priceless treasure and are referred to often in books and poetry ...."And precious the tear as that rain from the sky, Which turns into pearls as it falls in the sea." --Moore