A History Of Pearls

A History Of Pearls

Known for centuries as the “queen of gems,” the pearl has a fascinating history. Throughout the ages, a natural pearl was recognized as a treasure beyond measure. At one time, a pearl necklace was the most expensive jewelry in the world. Today, a string of pearls is often an accessory to other gemstones.

Before cultured pearls were cultivated in the early twentieth century, wild or natural pearls were so rare that only nobility could afford them. Women today often take their pearls for granted, but at the height of the Roman Empire, generals could finance an entire military campaign with one pearl.

George F. Kunz, an American gem collector who wrote “The Book of the Pearl” in 1908, speculated that a fish-eating tribe in India first appreciated the beauty of saltwater pearls. The sacred books of India contain numerous pearl references. The importance of pearls is also evident in China’s history. The ancient Egyptians used “mother of pearl” long before actual pearls, and Roman women sewed pearls into their gowns and furniture upholstery.

The Arabs show a great love for pearls, as seen in the Koran. Its description of Paradise is filled with pearl references. Great oyster beds lay in the Persian Gulf and in the Red Sea. Most Chinese pearls are freshwater pearls, while Japanese pearls are saltwater pearls. Almost all of the natural pearls sold today originated from these sources.

European colonizers in the New World discovered pearl jewelry among the native Americans. Using slaves to dive for pearls, they found freshwater gems in several American river basins. They exported so many pearls to Europe that America was known as the “land of pearls.” They also produced mother of pearl buttons for export.

Pearls from other regions came on the market, too – black pearls in Tahiti and Mexico, and white pearls in Central and South America. Then, as overfishing and industrialization depleted North American oyster beds, a man from Japan began to entice oysters to create pearls on demand. He did not know that two other Japanese men had already discovered the secret of cultured pearls.

These discoveries revolutionized pearling. Today, most pearl jewelry pieces use cultured pearls. The Pearl Source is an example of a wholesaler that imports these pearls from Japan, the South and various freshwater regions of the world. These companies supply loose pearls to pearl jewelers in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

Many of these companies are also retailers who sell cultured pearl strands to online customers. People who shop online at www.thepearlsource.com can find exquisite pearl jewelry in a range of prices. Among the quality collections are white Akoya pearls, black Tahitian pearls, pink freshwater pearls and golden South Sea pearls set in rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants, and strand necklaces.

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19 Comments

  1. Sherry Ann Gole Cruz

    March 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Pearl is mi birth stone and I really wold love to own an authentic pearl set.

  2. Raqisah Alimona

    March 31, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Ohhh! This post is so informative! Thank you a lot for this and I learned something new about the history of pearls because of this! :)

  3. Elinor Semira

    April 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

    It’s one of my favorite fashion accessory especially when I’m attending formal occasions coz it look so classic. I don’t have the real thing though.

  4. Abrille

    April 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Hope to have real pearl in the future it’s history is really special and I want to be a part of it :)

  5. Judith Albius

    April 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I love pearls very much… This review is very informative!

  6. Rheza

    April 2, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    This is one of the precious gem, there glossy white color represents as purity. Good thing I know a lot of this blog. Thanks!

  7. Marykay Marilao

    April 3, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Pearls are very timely in formal occasion and I love to use this. It add elegance in my outfit.

  8. Judy Vera

    April 4, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I so love pearls and this blog about it is very knowledgeable and really intriguing.

  9. Sigrid

    April 4, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Well, this is interesting. I love pearls. I am always on the lookout for good buys at Kultura by SM. Hihi.

  10. Joseph de los Santos

    April 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Its really fun!

  11. Dennis Lo

    April 5, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Well, I am really not into pearls or jewelry for that matter. But my wife loves them, so I just let her be if she wants to buy them. :D

  12. Lorie Nocasa

    April 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I love pearls! Especially pearl earrings. In fact I collect different colors of pearl earrings, it may not be expensive but I love seeing them :D

  13. Dindin Lo

    April 6, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I love pearls, too. They are so shiny. Mama lets me wear her pearls on special occasions. :D And I love wearing them!

  14. Arminda Puno De Leon

    April 7, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Great blog! Gained new tips regarding pearls!

  15. Genelynn Gundaya

    April 8, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Pearls never fades its glamour in centuries untill now.

  16. Beth P. Andres

    April 8, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I love Pearl so much, it is a jewelry that will never be out of fashion.

  17. Roland Savellano

    April 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Good to know about pearls! Thanks for this blog. :)

  18. Jonalyn Repalda

    April 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Nice, I love pearl <3

  19. Genelynn Gundaya

    April 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I love wearing pearl jewelries.

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