Physical Appearance and Properties
The name "Velakan pearl" is a misnomer, as it is not produced by a mollusk. Rather, Velakan pearls are the eyes of sand spiders, which have been alchemically processed after harvesting.
Velakan pearls are always perfectly round and have a diameter of no more than an inch. The reflecting tapetum of crystalline deposits (in the spiders' eyes) gives these gems a pearl-like iridescence.
The most common (and least expensive) pearls are a murky grey hue, resembling the briny waters of Lake Ratamipak. More exotic pearls mirror the hues of the salterns spread out along the shore of the lake, with the rarest (and most valuable) hues being those associated with the salterns of the highest salinity.
Pearls you may see in shops and games at Hollow Eve (from most common to most rare): murky grey, dull pewter, silvery, reflective blue, green, dun yellow, golden, and bright white
Pearls you may see at Hollow Eve auctions or in the Corn Maze (from most common to most rare): magenta, crimson, purple
The merchants of Sraan Mhhg tired of paying huge markups on Reshalian pearls and wanted to increase their profit margins by cutting out the middlemen. However, since Muspar'i is in the middle of a desert, there are no mollusks from which pearls can be harvested.
An enterprising young jeweler noticed that the eyes of the native sand spiders bore an iridescence not unlike that of fine pearls. However, the jeweler's first attempts at harvesting the "pearls" proved fruitless, as they spoiled within a few days. Undeterred, she turned to a renowned alchemist for a solution. After much experimentation, the alchemist developed a process that hardened and preserved the pearls -- as well as enhancing their colors. The actual process is a closely guarded trade secret; all that is known is that it involves infusing the pearls with life magic and submerging them in the salty waters of Lake Ratamipak.
This is a rare material and must be provided for alterations if it is not already in the item being altered. The color of the pearl cannot be altered (as color determines rarity) and must be mentioned in the tap or the look.