We do not know when pearls were first found but many believe it was long before recorded history. Pearls are unlike any other precious gemstones because they need no enhancements such as cutting or polishing to help admire their beauty. Pearl jewelry was the first truly prized gems jewellery because of their beauty and rarity.
Pearls were one of the most sought after gems as recorded in ancient records. Pearls were highly revered by Romans and rulers of Ancient India. As conquests were made around the Globe, pearl necklace became introduced to new areas. Pearls have a tradition of being rare and Fabulous.
Ancient Hindu writings refer to pearl jewelry as bringing longevity and prosperity. The writings also tell an ancient story of Krishna the HIndu God who brought pearl jewellery to give to his daughter as a gift on her wedding day. This Hindu story is one of the earliest known accounts of pearl jewellery and the wedding experience.
The ancient Greek people also believed in pearls and theough they should be a part of the wedding. They thought pearls and jewelry made from them would bring love and all guests of the wedding were adorned in pearls. Pearls were sacred gems given as gifts and the word “pearl” became highly associated with “love.”
Pearls and Pearl jewellery is also referenced to in religious writings. Pearls were symbols of high value and reverence in early writings of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Pearls are also found in Jewish literature where pearls are used as metaphors to compare things with very high regard.
Pearls and nekclace made from pearls possess a history and allure far beyond what today's wearer may recognize. Throughout much of recorded history, a natural pearl necklace comprised of matched spheres was a treasure of almost imense value, in fact the most expensive jewelry in the world. Now we see pearls almost as accessories, relatively inexpensive decorations to accompany more costly gemstones and other types of jewelry.
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. A jewelry item that today's working women might take for granted, a 16-inch strand of perhaps 50 pearls. At the height of the Roman Empire, when pearl fever reached its peak.
No one will ever know who were the earliest people to collect and wear pearls and pearl jewelery. George Frederick Kunz, whom I like to call America's first gemologist, in his 1908 masterpiece, The Book of the Pearl, writes his belief that an earlier fish-eating tribe, along the coast of India, initially appreciated the shape and lustre of saltwater pearls, which they discovered while opening oysters for food and they started making and wearing pearl jewelry and pearl necklaces.
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India's sacred books and epic tales abound with pearl and pearl necklace and jewellery references. One legend has the Hindu god Krishna discovering pearls when he plucks the first one from the sea and presents it to his daughter Pandaïa on her wedding day. Roman women upholstered couches with pearls and sewed so many into their gowns that they actually walked on their pearl-encrusted hems. Caligula, having made his horse a consul, decorated it with a pearl necklace.
Circular display of pearls The Romans and Egyptians prized pearls above all othe gems.
Pearls and pearl jewelry in fact, played the pivotal role at the most celebrated banquet in literature. To convince Rome that Egypt possessed a heritage and wealth that put it above conquest, Cleopatra wagered Marc Antony she could give the most expensive dinner in history. The Roman reclined as the queen sat with an empty plate and a goblet of wine. She crushed one large pearl of a pair of earrings, dissolved it in the liquid, then drank it down. Astonished, Antony declined his dinner—the matching pearl—and admitted she had won.
The Arabs have shown the greatest love for pearls, pearl jewelry. The depth of their affection for pearls is enshrined in the Koran, especially within its description of Paradise, which says: "The stones are pearls the fruits of the trees are pearls and emeralds; and each person admitted to the delights of the celestial kingdom is provided with a tent of pearls, jacinths, and emeralds; is crowned with pearls and pearl jewellery of incomparable lustre, and is attended by beautiful maidens resembling hidden pearls and wearing jewelry made from pearl.