A story about pearls in the paper published Wednesday, April 6, was not clear in its description of pearls.
Natural pearls are formed when oysters cover foreign particles entering their mantles with nacre, the protective, shiny substance spit out by oysters. This process takes several years.Cultured pearls are formed the same way but under controlled conditions. Pearl farmers plant mother-of-pearl beads, made from the inner layers of certain shells, in the mantle tissue of oysters. These oysters are then put in cages that are suspended in sheltered bays for a period.