Why have pearls fascinated emperors and people since the beginning of time? Here are ten facts you will love:
- My favorite fact: a pearl is the only precious gem in nature that is created through struggle. A pearl can only occur when its vessel has been wounded, and the vessel has to create something exceptionally beautiful to heal itself. In other words, opportunity/fortune comes out of discord. I love that. Don't get mad. Get better!
- A pearl never loses its luster. You can scratch its surface, but the moment you wipe it off lightly with your finger, the scratch disappears as if through magic. Fascinating! Always shine.
- Pearls have been known to symbolize fertility, loyalty, and friendship.
- The earliest record we have of pearls as precious objects are artefacts from Mesopotamia dated to around 2300 B.C.
- Pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal.
Pearl was named the official birthstone for June in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers.
- La Peregrina (Spanish for ‘the incomparable’) is one of the most famous pearls in the world. The 500-year-old pearl is pear shaped and the size of a large pigeon’s egg. Its previous owners included a King of Spain, Napoleon Bonaparte and Elizabeth Taylor.
- In the early days, pearl divers regularly faced the threat of shark attacks as well as the dreaded crippling effects of the bends with every dive. In the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, the mortality rate for divers was as high as 50 per cent. Today, there are strict protocols and regulations regarding occupational diving to reduce these risks.
- No two pearls are ever the same.