(1) Pearls are formed inside mollusks such as oysters and mussels when an irritant such as a tiny stone or bit of sand gets inside the mollusk's shell. A lustrous substance, called nacre, is secreted around the object to protect the soft internal surface of the mollusk. As layer upon layer of nacre coats the irritant, a pearl is formed. This process can take up to seven or eight years.
(1) Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought.
(2) Ancient legend says that pearls were thought to be the tears of the gods and the Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote marital bliss and prevent newlywed women from crying.