What was the prep on this pearl and how did it go down?
First – is it actually a pearl or just some poison pressed into a pearl shape?
Or is it actually a pearl – but the poison has been applied to it somehow – like it’s been dipped in some poison coating, like a strawberry dunked in chocolate but less tasty and more deadly. Is it maybe a hollowed out pearl? Like a jewel with a hole drilled into it and then filled with poison. Or a souvenir Claudius picked up somewhere – a little pill pearl – a pearl that opens and holds compounds of any sort – could be aspirin. Making it a little headache pearl, not a murder weapon.
And whatever the case, someone would have had to do the crafting – the dipping or filling of the pearl.
In all likelihood, this is not a task to trust to someone else – so whatever the method, Claudius probably did it himself.
And since he did some other poisoning before this play even began, he seems to have an affinity and a skill for this sort of thing.
It makes me think of the Queen in Cymbeline – practicing her poisoning skills on small animals.
This is probably what Claudius did for fun before he became king.