The time varies depending on the type of oyster, but it can range from 8 months to 6 years. Akoya pearls are typically collected between 8 months to 2 years, whereas freshwater South Sea and Tahitian pearls are cultured between 2 and 6 years.
In the wild I guess they don’t make them that often, because it only occurs if something gets inside the shell. But on these freaky pearl “farms” the purposfully irritate the oyster by putting stuff int he shell to create a pearl. it takes really long time and depends on the size of pearl one wants, the farmers “harvest” the pearls every 3 years or so. Some species make a pearl at a rate of 0.1 mm a year.
Oysters are apart of the mollusk family. They are not the only ones out of the mollusk family who are capable of producing pearls. Clams and mussels are able to produce pearls also but this event is more rare than oysters producing pearls and that’s why most pearls are produced by oysters.
Oysters are bivalves which means that the shells of the oyster is made of two parts and they are called valves which are held together by an elastic ligament. Inside the shell, the oyster consist of a mouth, stomach, heart, intestines, gills, anus, abductor muscle, and mantle. As the oyster grows the shell grows also.
The process of pearls begin when a foreign substance slips into its shell. The oyster’s mantle, which is the organ that produced the shell, is irritated by the disturbance. The oyster responds by covering that irritant to protect itself from the foreign invader. The mantle covers the foreign object with layers and layers of nacre, which is the material the mantle makes the shell out of, and eventually creates a pearl.A pearl is formed in about 8 months to 6 years.
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