is a pearl a gem or what is it considered to be?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Technically it's a gemstone, but that's mainly because it's really used in jewelry. Really it's organic material. When a grain of sand collects in an oyster, it gets coated with a layer of calcium carbonate, more commonly referred to as nacre. Nacre is what makes the inside of some shells shiny.

    The grain of sand becomes an irritant to the oyster- it tries to get it out. If the developing pearl is rolled around in the oysters' mouth, the pearl develops nice and round.

    The main difference between pearls and other gems is that other gems are minerals- inorganic material. Pearls are organic.

    But to answer your question: yes, a pearl is considered a gem.

  • 1 decade ago

    The three attributes that define a gem:

    It must be beautiful.

    It must be rare.

    It must be durable.

    The diamond is referred to as the King of Gems. This is because of its adamantine quality, its hardness, and its almost invincible structure. The pearl is not as durable as the diamond but it has an unmatched exquisite beauty and because of this, it is considered the Queen of Gems. In fact, the pearl was the world’s first gem and the most valuable of all gems until it was rivalled by the 19th century diamond discoveries.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A pearl is considered a gem.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Gem: a pearl or mineral that has been cut and polished for use as an ornament.

    So, a pearl is definitely a gem.

    It is also considered a precious stone (a relatively rare and valuable mineral used in jewelry, e.g. a diamond or ruby)

    Both terms are scientifically correct.

    Source(s): http://www.answers.com/topic/gem Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Pearls are an organic gem, created when an oyster covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for only one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance.

  • 1 decade ago

    I wouldn't call a pearl a gem.A gem is a substance with a specific crystalline structure.A pearl is a collection of sand,grit and other impurities.....I don't think it is a gem

  • 1 decade ago

    Pearls are considered semi precious. Natural pearls are worth far more than fresh water or cultured pearls. Old pearls (antique), very large pearls, and some that are other than white (black, grey, pink and even blue) can be very valuable. Hope this was helpful. Peace.

  • 1 decade ago

    From Wikipedia:

    "A pearl is a hard, rounded object produced by certain animals, primarily mollusks such as oysters. Pearls can be used in jewelry and also crushed in cosmetics or paint. Pearl is valued as a gemstone and is cultivated or harvested for jewellery. The pearl is also the birthstone of June.

    Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain bivalve mollusks. As a response to an irritating object inside its shell, the mollusk will deposit layers of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the minerals aragonite or calcite (both crystalline forms of calcium carbonate) held together by an organic horn-like compound called conchiolin. This combination of calcium carbonate and conchiolin is called nacre, or as most know it, mother-of-pearl."

  • me
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    a pearl is a grain of sand that grew in a clam or is it an oyster? , i wouldn't call it a gem, a gem is a stone, it is a pearl, in it's own class

  • 1 decade ago

    Yuppers, a pearl is considered a gem.

    Start here to learn more:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl

    :)

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