In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, while diving for seafood to eat for dinner, Peeta Mellark finds a pearl in an oyster, laughs and gives it to Katniss Everdeen as a gift when he talks to Katniss about how he will protect her. The pearl was not only a gift but an offering of love. Although it was a small token, it was a largely romantic gesture. Katniss knows that the pearl was an amazing gesture as she keeps it close by her and constantly protects it, as Peeta vowed to protect her. Katniss keeps it in the drawer next to the spile that Haymitch sent to her in the 75th Hunger Games.
When he found it, he told Finnick Odair that when enough pressure is placed on coal it will turn into pearls. This is an inside joke between him and Katniss referring to Effie Trinket's mistaken pronouncement before their last Hunger Games, who confused pearl creation with the creation of diamonds.Katniss closely guards his gift, thinking that it's the only gift she can truly accept. She knows that her mother and Prim will surely know to return the pearl to Peeta if she dies protecting him, which she's positive she will.
She later brings it to District 13, waking up in the middle of the night and looking at it. She keeps it with the spile and the other items she received in the arena, like Peeta's locket. She then takes it to her mission to assassinate Snow with Squad 451. Throughout Mockingjay, Katniss closely guards the pearl, keeping it in a silver parachute in a dresser drawer. Just before the bombing of 13, Gale goes back Katniss' room and retrieves it, along with her hunting jacket, her mother's wedding photo, the plant book, and the contents of her dresser drawer. If he hadn't, it could have been destroyed. Later, Katniss' mockingjay uniform has a pocket in which Katniss stores her pearl throughout the Battle of the Capitol. The last time the pearl was mentioned was when Katniss drops the keys to unlock Peeta's handcuffs in her pocket and she hears them clinking together. After that, the pearl (along with the spile and the mockingjay pin) is returned to Katniss and is in her house in the Victors' Village. The pearl is a symbol of Peeta's love for Katniss.
- ↑ The Hunger Games, Chapter 6