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Long known as the "Queen of Gems," pearls possess a history and allure far beyond what today's wearer may recognize. In China, pearls were thought to be raindrops swallowed by oysters. The Chinese associated dragons and pearls together, since they believed dragons fighting in the clouds caused pearls to drop from the sky in the form of rain. Before the creation of cultured pearls in the early 1900s, natural pearls were so rare and expensive that they were reserved almost exclusively for the noble and very rich. It is said that the Roman General Vitellius financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's pearl earrings.

During the Dark Ages, gallant knights often wore pearls onto the battlefield to protect them from harm. Long been a favorite for brides and newly weds. The ancient Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote harmony in a marriage and prevent newlyweds from shedding tears. Also, a very popular gem to Ancient Egyptians. Reportedly, Cleopatra dissolved a single pearl in a glass of wine and drank it, simply to win a wager with Marc Anthony that she could consume the wealth of an entire country in just one meal. Cultured pearls are made when a farmer implants a tiny bead in the oyster upon which layers of nacre are eventually deposited until the pearl is large enough for harvesting. Pearls do occur when a natural irritant is caught within an oyster, however it happens infrequently and, more often than not, produces a baroque, or irregularly shaped pearl. The most important qualities to look for in a pearl is its' luster (shine), and its' shape (the rounder the better).

Natural Gemstones




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