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This is a close-up of a drill-hole in a cultured pearl. If you could see into the pearl, you would see its nucleus—a bead or piece of mollusk tissue that was inserted by a human. - Photo by John I. Koivula/GIA
High magnification shows the unevenness of this pearl’s surface. - Photo by John I. Koivula/GIA
This is a close-up of a conch [cahnk] pearl that shows a delicate pattern called “flame structure.” A conch pearl is different because it was formed by a single-shelled—rather than two-shelled—mollusk, and it’s not made of nacre. - Photo by JaeWon Chang/GIA

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