Extraordinary Stories

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

The "A Mermaid's Tear" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just got back from my cousin's jewelry store in nearby East Petersburg with presents for our two granddaughters.  Mark took the two salt-water pearls that we had obtained while on the island of Kauai in Hawaii and fitted them with a sterling setting setting so the girls can wear them around their necks.   Also bought a small silver neck chain to hold the pearl.  While on the island of Kauai, Carol and I decided to take a helicopter ride so we could see the 80% of the island that is only visible from the air.  The Sunshine Helicopter office was in a small strip mall near the airport and one of the stores close to the office was a jewelry store.  
Carol is picking the oyster that she got for buying a necklace.
Naturally, my wife was drawn toward the shiny metal pieces hanging in the window of the shop.  Saw a Sterling Silver pendant in the shape of a plam tree with a few small diamonds smiling at her so I knew we were in for another stop after our helicopter ride.  After purchasing the palm tree, the clerk told Carol that she could pick an oyster from the large shell that was in the front of the store as a reward for buying the pendant.  
The clerk has opened the oyster and the two
small pearls are laying on the towel behind
her right hand.  Click to enlarge if necessary.
Carol looked at the couple of dozen oyster shells and asked the woman which one might have two pearls in it so she could give one to each of our granddaughters.  Very rare for that to happen she told Carol.  Carol made a choice and the woman carefully opened the shell.  Out fell a pearl.  Then another one!  "Wow, good pick dear," I said to her.  Naturally the clerk wanted to sell us $100 settings for each pearl and after drilling a small hole in each proceeded to show us a few settings.  Carol told her that we weren't interested and she put them away until we got home from vacation.  I must say that the pearls that she picked were beautifully shaped. The pearl is actually an oyster's attempt to protect itself from irritating particles that enter its shell.  The oyster responds to the particle by coating it with nacre, a substance secreted by the oyster which is primarily calcium carbonate.  
A gift for granddaughters.
The more coatings the oyster places on the particle, the larger the pearl.  The pearls that Carol picked were cultured pearls since the particle was planted in the pearl by a human.    The pearl is unlike most other gems in that it does not need to be cut or polished.  Well, the pearls were sitting under the tree for a few days and were finally opened on Christmas to the joys of our granddaughters.  Carol is trying to instill in them the joy of jewelry, particularly pearls, which she has obtained since we have been married.  After all, you realize that the pearl is really a mermaid's tear and who couldn't love that story.  Oh yeah, by the way in case you were wondering, the helicopter ride was interesting and exciting also!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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