Pearls are organic gem and believed to be one of the oldest gem materials. Their use in personal adornment dates back more than 6,000 years.
Pearls are produced by living organisms called mollusks. Mollusks are soft bodied invertebrates, many varieties of which are protected by hard shell exteriors such as clams, oysters and mussels. One thing that all pearl producing mollusks share in common is the ability to build a mother-of-pearl lining on the inside of their shell.
Price is based on two factors - shape and quality. Shape is acceptable in any form and the pearls are classified by the shape. The free forms are the least expensive and the near round and round are the most expensive.