The next step is inserting the nucleus or base around the area where the pearl develops. A nucleus or base can be made from a freshwater mussel shell also known as pigtoe. The shell is formed just like the shape of a bead. When the pigtoe has been inserted into the Akoya oyster, it has a great potential for success. After that, the oysters will be set on land for half an hour. This is the right time for them to open their shells which are usually braced open. After that, the nucleus will be surgically placed into the oyster which will then be put back into the sea basket. This basket provides for mobility to protect against temperature variations or predators. Changes in temperature will also affect the pearl’s quality that may lead to the oyster’s death.
The pearl’s growth, through the deposit of necre layers usually takes 2-4 years. The period of cultivation is usually based upon the size and quality of the pearl desired. Then, the pearl will finally be removed from the oyster.