Pearl - The Oldest Gem
Types of Pearls
Faux (Fake) Pearls
How to Test for Fake
Classification of Pearls by
Care for Pearls
Therapeutic Properties of Pearl
How to Buy Pearl Jewelry
Pearl is unique among gemstones. It is the only gem found within a living
creature. It is the only gem that requires no fashioning (cutting or polishing)
before use. It is also used exclusively by one gender. Although efforts have
been made to market pearl jewelry to males, pearls remain the most "feminine" of
Pearl is the June Birthstone. Pearls have long been considered ideal wedding
gifts because they symbolize purity and innocence. Traditionally it is a near
requirement for brides. In the Hindu religion, the presentation of an un-drilled
Pearl and its piercing has formed part of the marriage ceremony. In the west,
Pearls are the recommended gift for couples celebrating their third and 30th
Pearls are the oldest known gem, and for centuries were considered the most
valuable. Pearls were so valuable that the Roman General Vitellius allegedly
financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's Pearl
Pearls have been used for personal ornament for thousands of years. They were
probably one of the earliest gems found by prehistoric man. It was attractive to
him because pearl came as naturally-perfect objects which required no additional
craftsmanship. They were probably first found along the coastline of India.
Legend says that pearls were formed when the oysters opened their shells,
rose to the water's surface and were seeded by the early morning's drops of dew
and the first rays of sparkling sunlight. People in middle east believed that
pearls were a symbol of the moon and had magical powers.
The oldest known Pearl jewelry is a necklace found in the sarcophagus of a
Persian princess who died in 520 BC.
The earliest written record of the value of pearls is recorded in a
23rd-century BC Chinese book. The pearl's unique qualities of luster and
iridescence were noted by Homer in the Odyssey: "Earrings bright with triple
drops that cast a trembling light." Pearls are mentioned in ancient Hindu epics.
It is mentioned in a Chinese dictionary from 1,000 B.C., in Marco Polo's
accounts about the king of China, and in Pliny's 1st century, A.D. Historia
The Romans were particularly enamored of this gem of the sea. Rome's Pearl
craze reached its zenith during the first century BC when upper class Roman
women wore their pearls to bed so they could be reminded of their wealth
immediately upon awakening.
The Koran states that a good Muslim, upon entering the Kingdom of Heaven, "is
crowned with pearls of incomparable luster, and is attended by beautiful maidens
resembling hidden pearls."
During the 12th and 13th centuries, the Crusaders spread the use and
popularity of pearls throughout Europe. The Aztecs of central Mexico studded the
interiors of their palaces with pearls and emeralds.
During the Dark Ages, fair maidens of nobility cherished delicate pearl
necklaces. Gallant knights often wore pearls onto the battlefield. They believed
that the magic possessed by the pearls would protect them from harm.
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