The National Geographic Channel aired a new documentary titled “Secret Life of Pearls” on March 14. Forged by nature and nurtured by man, a single pearl encapsulates a story. Set in Australia’s remote Kimberley region, where man and nature work together to forge the Ocean’s most desired treasure, this unique documentary captures the beauty of the South Sea Pearl, the rarest and most valuable marine gem whose story has remained untold.
In conjunction with the documentary, National Geographic released these 10 fascinating facts about pearls:
1. Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal. A natural pearl of value is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters.
2. All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at around three years of age.
3. There are three major types of saltwater cultured pearls: Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea. These pearls account for approximately 5% of the total weight of global pearl production. Although they share many of the same characteristics, they can look vastly different as each pearl is sourced from a different species of oyster. These oceanic oysters typically grow only one pearl at a time.