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  • Organic Rocks - Gems.

    Pearls are not a rock. They are formed by an animal secreting calcium in a form we call nacre.
    They are direct products of an organic process. I call them organic calcium, like all shells and bones.

    Pearls are classed as gems. My skull isn't.

    Barbara, your dedication of this particular story of yours that I've sprouted, is very meaningful to me. Resonated in more ways than one.
    Perhaps you knew it would be like that.

    I ended up being the Manager of the Australian Pearling Exhibition for a year and a half
    before I had to make that Roo, Dingo and Eagle trip.
    I had been the part-time aquaculture technician there for a year and a half prior to becoming manager. The then 'permanent' exhibition was a Government Museum that has since closed, well after my departure, due to bean counting.
    So for three years I was a reef-keeper there.
    Firstly as a part-time 'junior' then as the full-time 'senior' whilst manager.

    Reef-keeping: Looking after the live displays, emulating the natural environment of the pearl shell for the visitors to appreciate. So I had the joy to care for coral, anemones, fish, other sea creatures and live, seeded, pearl shell.

    Coral would perish regularly when I first started there, making it necessary to trip in the field about every 3 or 4 months or so, to collect more. I didn't like that at all. So I made the necessary scientific investigation into the causes of that ongoing attrition issue, presented the findings upstairs and asked for 10,000 squid to fix the system. After spending all those squid, we were actually able to propagate some corals instead of killing them.

    On the farms, x-rays are used to inspect the developing pearl. Sometimes discovering seed nuclei where nacre deposits were non-uniform or incomplete. Usually the problem is an indicator that there is some issue with the pearl sac, and the shell is normally deemed useless for a re-seed or another initial-op to induce a new sac.

    One day, one of our pearl shells died in our holding tank out the back. It had been sick for a while.
    Upon inspection of the pearl sac I made an amazing discovery.
    Two pearls, one larger, one a lot smaller, the smaller seated into a recess, of the larger one.
    One would expect nacre to be deposited on the exteriorly exposed surfaces only and not in the area of 'contact' between the two.
    But as I nudged them apart, still trying to determine what I had in front of me, I realised that each pearl had their total surfaces covered in nacre.
    That meant that the epithelial tissue, used to form the pearl sac in the seeding operation, had to be folded, and pinched between the two impediments, in order to be able to deposit nacre in two directions simultaneously. So they weren't actually in contact with one another as they formed.
    It appears that the mother 'grew' or formed faster than the child, resulting in the crater.
    Busting the sac open caused a visceral mess, with the pearls submerged in the goo. So I never identified the fold in the tissue as such, only using logic to later provide the explanation.

    Compared to the Amber Mother and Child, this baby is a girl.

    Symbols like these naturally formed Mother and Child creations provide me with Faith, Hope & Love and bring me much joy.

    Images: Separated, together, reverse side of Mother.
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