Pearls by Shari Presentation

Mrs. Shari Turpin, founder of Pearls by Shari, visited our campus recently to give a presentation about pearls, the only precious gem created by a living organism. She spoke about how pearls are made, both in the wild and through the sustainable process of farming. Mrs. Turpin said that all of the world’s natural pearls are produced by about 40 family farms in the South Sea. In fact, she spends five months out the year personally visiting these farms to source pearls for her shops. 
During her presentation, Mrs. Turpin explained that pearls are produced when a small irritant or “nucleus” — a grain of sand or other small, sharp object — gets into the shell of an oyster as they filter water for food. Students learned that a single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day! Over a number of years, the oyster covers the irritant with hundreds of layers of a smoothing and iridescent calcium carbonate, or “nacre,” eventually producing a single pearl. Mrs. Turpin played a video showing the oyster farming process, and how each oyster is implanted with a grain of sand or other tiny object with the hope that many of them will produce a desirable pearl. Students learned that pearls are evaluated based on five factors: size, shape, color, surface, and luster.

Students also had the opportunity to see and touch strands of pearls in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They learned that the shape of the pearl depends on the shape of the object placed in its shell and that golden pearls are the rarest and most valuable. At the end of the presentation, Mrs. Turpin referenced Jesus’ parable about the pearl of great price and used the creation of pearls as an analogy for when we experience emotional or spiritual pain. She said, “when we bring our pain to God, He can create something beautiful from it, like the oyster making the pearl.” Thank you, Mrs. Turpin for a wonderful presentation!

Mountain Range


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