In the world of jewelry, mineral crystals such as diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are commonly used. These stones are called gemstones, however, a gemstone that is not a stone at all is a pearl. Pearls are composed of calcium carbonate and produced in the soft tissue mantle of a living shelled mollusk.
Pearls are made of the same material as the shell of a mollusk and the rarest pearls occur spontaneously in nature. The ideal pearl is round and smooth with a metallic, mirror-like luster. However, pearls can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. For example, baroque pearls are irregularly shaped pearls and can have ovoid, curved, pinched or chunky shapes.
There are two types of pearls: freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels, which belong to the Unionidae family and live in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds. Saltwater pearls come from pearl oysters, which belong to the Pterriidae family and live in the oceans. Saltwater pearls are among the most sought after for jewelry, as they come in a variety of colors. White and black saltwater pearls are among the most popular, but pink, blue, champagne, green and purple saltwater pearls are also found in nature.
In honor of all pearl and pearl lovers, take a look at 75 of our favorite pearl tattoos by talented tattoo artists around the world. Then let us know your favorite tattoo from this list in the comments section on social media.