On Earth, wherever one turns his eyes and looks, one meets a magnificent creation, a perfect design with amazing features. The examples we give throughout this book are only a few small details of this magnificence. Allah has created many plant and animal species on Earth whose appearances are splendid. He has brought everything into existence in a way that man finds pleasure in. Along with these, many ornaments have been created on Earth by Allah and have been given into the service of men. The pearl, which is one of these ornaments, has very interesting features besides its outstanding beauty.
The developmental phases of the pearl are amazing. The pearl is generally produced by the "pearl oyster," of which many kinds exist. The shells of oysters are quite hard. The composition of their outer shells, which are very difficult to open, is calcium carbonate-based and deters many of their enemies. The calcium carbonate also plays an important role in the oyster's formation of pearls.
The oyster is irritated when sand, a pebble or harmful parasitic organisms enter inside of it. In such situations, it isolates the uninvited guest, as a method of protection, and begins to cover it with nacre. This covering process is the first phase of the formation of the pearl. The foreign particles entering the oyster serve as a nucleus for the formation of the pearls. Through the years, the surface of this nuclear substance will be covered with calcium carbonate layers forming one on the top of the other.
How is the nacre inside the oyster made? There are two main ingredients that form the nacre among the layers of the oyster's inner tissues. In one layer is a mineral called "aragonite," the content of which is calcium carbonate; in another layer is an adhesive substance "conchiolin," which holds the aragonite together in the pearl. Since aragonite is a semi-transparent substance, it gives the pearl a shiny look. It is surely thought provoking that these two substances are produced by the oyster (a composition of shell and flesh that doesn't even have a brain) and then they come together and form such a beautiful object as a pearl by covering a mere dust particle. The pearl that an oyster produces for the purpose of protection is created as an aesthetic ornament for man.
Allah draws attention to the pearl with the verse in the Qur'an "From out of them come glistening pearls and coral." (Surat ar-Rahman: 22) Furthermore, the pearl is also mentioned in the Qur'an as one of the ornaments of Paradise.