Creatingapearl The timeless beauty of a single pearl has been hard-won by decades of natural development before the pearl is extracted. Inside the oyster’s shell, a tiny irritant like a grain of sand is identified by the oyster and surrounded by protective layers. These layers are nacre, a translucent material that builds up over time and slowly creates the pearl. Large, perfectly-round pearls have many even layers of nacre, which is quite rare in nature. Culturedandnaturalpearls Because finding a large and perfectly-symmetrical pearl is so rare, many shoppers opt for cultured pearls instead of their natural counterparts. Creating cultured pearls involves a person injecting a small irritant into an oyster and then creating the ideal man-made environment in which the pearl will grow. While the vast majority of pearls today are cultured pearls, the rarity and uniqueness of a natural pearl’s appearance makes it a special option for jewelry lovers.