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In the jewelry world, mineral crystals such as diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are commonly used. These stones are referred to as gemstones, however, one gemstone that's not a stone at all is a pearl. Pearls are composed of calcium carbonate and produced within the soft tissue mantle of a living shelled mollusk.

Pearls are composed of the same material as a mollusk's shell and the most rare pearls occur spontaneously in the wild. The ideal pearl is round and smooth with a metallic mirror-like luster. However, pearls can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. For example, baroque pearls are irregularly shaped pearls and can come in ovoid, curved, pinched or lump shapes. 

There are two types of pearls—freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels, which belong to the Unionidae family and live in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds. Saltwater pearls come from pearl oysters, which belong to the Pterriidae family, and live in oceans. Saltwater pearls are some of the most sought after for jewelry, as they come in a variety of colors. White and black saltwater pearls are among the most popular, but pink, blue, champagne, green and purple saltwater pearls also occur in nature.

In honor of all of the pearls and pearl lovers out there, take a look at 75 of our favorite pearl tattoos from talented tattoo artists around the world. Then let us know your favorite tattoo from this list in the comments section on social media.