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The Gates of Pearl

The expression, "pearly gates", does not occur in scripture;
nor is Peter, the Apostle, associated with them, in scripture.

What John saw in vision and recorded in the Apocalypse - the Book of the Revelation - was that the twelve gates to the visionary city, named New Jerusalem, were, each one - a pearl.

Each gate was not made of the substance : pearl.
Each gate is a single pearl.

Pearl is not - as is commonly said - formed by a grain of sand
causing irritation to the oyster. The process is started by an 
infection - either viral or bacterial. It is the presence of another kind of life - within - that begins, and continues, the process.

And what results is a laminated structure, laid down layer by 
layer, of both living tissue and chitinous substance. The  compound is stronger than bone - as strong as tooth enamel.

The interaction of another kind of life, with the creature's own life, internally, produces something that is structurally strong, desirably beautiful and so exceedingly precious that a
 discerning merchant would sell everything else, just to
 possess a prime example of such an item.

    This is how to enter the kingdom of heaven, now;
and this is how to enter the heavenly city, for ever.

The Gates of Pearl