Yes, it is true that the 'pearl' which is found inside a shell of a mollusk is the oldest of all the gemstones we know today. Pearls are cultured from oysters artificially and the process is called grafting or seeding wherein the technicians carefully open pearl oysters, with surgical methods. As a matter of fact, no one has the information about when was the first ever pearl was discovered and from where.
Even the ancient texts of Hinduism & Islam has mentions of Pearl 'Moti' as a part of the treasures or gems which were used to gift during those times. At least five hundred years before Christ, Atharvaveda describes the usage of pearl as a talisman in a hymn of magical formula. Great Hindu epics and Puranas even describe about the pearl and their uses. Even when Lord Krishna built his new kingdom near Gujarat at Dwarka (an ancient island in the sea of Arabia) with the help of great architect Vishwakarma who drew precious gems and pearls from sea to use them at various places for decorations and interiors.
The Hindu Gods and Goddesses are always depicted in their pictures wearing pearl necklaces or even bracelets. Similarly, many Sufi saints also use Pearl beads for meditation and their prayers. Pearl is sacred to the Great Goddess in an aspect of Aphrodite Marina. Even in various Hindu rituals pearl is used and are often worn as necklaces. Pearl has been a symbol of purity and has the ability to purify as it has many healing qualities associated with lunar energy. Pearl is a gemstone of vitality, purity, and prosperity. A pearl devoid of luster, broken, having holes, dents and defects should be avoided.
The beautiful luster of the calcium carbonate nacre outside the pearl is what gives it its shine and value. This nacre is sometimes available in colors other than White such as - Pink, Violet, Grayish Black, Golden (Cream) and Silver.
The people of the gemstone trade in the 1960s to 1980s would remember the original rarest of rare Pearls which were known as 'Basra' Moti or Pearl. Those were cultivated from the Basra port near Iraq. They had very rare and brilliant sheen of silvery pink color on their surface and yielded a great value. Till date, the demand for this Basra Moti has not been degraded.
However, today most of the pearls have traded as 'Basra Moti' is not necessarily cultivated from Basra. The real pearls (uncultured) found from different parts of the world are being traded as Basra Moti. An increase in the number of Pearl fisheries around the world, especially in the South China Sea area has resulted in greater availability of pearls. This is indeed a good thing for customers as they have to pay less to acquire a Pearl of their choice. However, it has, certainly, compromised the value and important oldest known gemstones. There are different types of pearls available in the market depending upon their origins. However, you can buy pearl online also at per Carat or per Ratti price as there has been a great shift to e-commerce markets. But before you buy pearl online check for its authentication from proper gemstone laboratory to avoid the fake pearl.