Natural Pearls

by Binasaji

These gems have found mention in historical texts of different cultures and even in religious texts of Indians, Buddhists, and Muslims and even in the Bible. In fact, archaeologists have found a Pearl necklace approximately 2000 years old in the sarcophagus of a Mummy proving the powerful lure of the Pearl. The medieval believed Pearls possessed magical powers and armors were encrusted with Pearls – to protect the wearer in battle.

Pearl BraceletThe luster and allure of this natural gem has captivated people all over the world - the Pearl. Created by nature, it is unsure who were the first to discover this gem from the ocean. It is common knowledge that the Pearl is formed inside the Oyster shell - when a fragment irritates the delicate skin of the mollusk, it coats the offending speck with microscopic layers, creating the pearl. The speck is coated with the same substances that make the shell of the mollusk and the luster of the Pearl is due to the many coatings on the Pearl and its rounded shape, which reflects the light. Natural Pearls can be found in freshwater and salt-water mollusks.

Indians, Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs all treasured this gem - especially the Romans, who were entranced by this lustrous gemstone. Cleopatra is said to have dissolved one large pearl into her wine to win a wager; another Roman general sold one pearl and financed an entire army. But the Japanese and Polynesian nations, which had a great concentration of natural pearls, did not much care for this gem from the water - sometimes even using the pearls as marbles for children to play with.

These gems have found mention in historical texts of different cultures and even in religious texts of Indians, Buddhists, Muslims and even in the Bible. In fact, archaeologists have found a Pearl necklace approximately 2000 years old in the sarcophagus of a Mummy proving the powerful lure of the Pearl. The medieval believed Pearls possessed magical powers and armors were encrusted with Pearls - to protect the wearer in battle.

Natural Pearls were expensive in the past and possessing a string of Pearls was a sign of wealth and power. A necklace of matched pearls was considered a status symbol in the olden days and was extremely expensive. Pearls were equivalent to gold and acquisition of Pearls was the motive behind several conquests of the Roman empire.

Pearls were not only used for Jewellery - but also woven onto clothes of Royalty and the wealthy class. Roman women loved Pearls dearly and covered their robes with Pearls, the wealthy women even used Pearls to decorate their couches. In India, Pearls are one of the nine planetary gems associated with the Moon and wearing Pearls gives its wearer great mental strength. A symbol of feminity, charm and purity many believe in the power of Pearls as medicines. Even today, medicines using Pearl powder are said to promote mental health. The Cosmetic Industry too uses Pearls in making creams and lotions for enhancing beauty.

The word "Pearl" has originated from the words like pirium (sphere - referring to the shape of the pear); beere (berry - again the shape of the Pearl) and even the Latin word - pirula (meaning Pear). Most of these derivations are based on the shape of the pearl

An important reason why Pearls are so popular could be that these gems do need to be cut or polished like most other gems - they are ready to use from the shell of the oyster. Just bore a hole and string them into a necklace. These fragile gems are normally white in color but pearls have been found in an impressive range of colors - from gold to purple and of course the rare black pearl.

These delicate gems born from the womb of the mollusks, are the birthstones for June and also Anniversary gems for the Third year of marriage. It is rare to find a perfectly round pearl, the more common variety are uneven and not perfect spheres. The shape of the pearl depends mainly on the shape of the fragment piece inside the mollusk - a round piece will give rise to a rounded pearl and an uneven splinter will create an uneven pearl.

Pearls are some of the oldest known gems and connoisseurs of jewellery from time immemorial have appreciated their elegance and beauty. Perfect for any occasion, good quality Pearls are great for day or night wear - formal and informal events. Combined with other gems like Diamonds/emeralds or rubies or by itself - the Pearl will always remain fashionable.

Today Pearls are available in a plenty of price ranges and even the perfect pearls are not too expensive. The reason behind this is free availability of cultured pearls which have brought down the price of this gem. But the appeal of Pearls overrides it price and a pearl ensemble is a must in every woman's wardrobe including the Queen of England.

 
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