Origins Faded Into History Of Pearl Gemstone
Pearls are considered to be the oldest gem in the world. In fact, they have been in use and widely revered even before any written or recorded history.
Due to this reason, their origins are lost in antiquity and cannot be specifically attributed to any single person.
It is thought that natural pearl were first spotted and discovered by men and women looking for food alongside the seashore.
The earliest specimen of pearl jewelry was found inside the sarcophagus of an ancient Persian princess dating back to around 420 BC.
Importance Of Pearl Gemstone As Gift Items
The pearl stones were once offered as gifts to members of Chinese royalty around 2300 BC. In ancient Rome, jewelry items made from pearls were regarded as a sign of wealth, abundance and status symbol.
During the first century BC, these pearls were extremely precious and this led Emperor Julius Caesar to pass a law that restricted wearing of pearl jewelry to only ruling classes.
Pearl Gemstone In The Arab World
Numerous natural oyster beds have been found in the Persian Gulf region, which indicate that pearl stone was regularly produced in Arabian regions and that they were regarded with great importance in Arabic cultures.
There is a legend which says that dewdrops falling from the sky were eventually swallowed by the oysters. These dew drops were then transformed into pearls.
Persian Gulf was a very important center for the pearl trade before commercial culturing of pearls started. The pearls were a major source of wealth and prosperity for the local people prior to the discovery of mineral oil.
The Allure And Magnetism Of Pearls
As pearls have such a rich history, it is quite natural that pearls have an aura of mystery around them. This has led to the growth of many myths and legends associated with them.
Pearls were once linked to purity and innocence of the wearer in ancient China. Pearls were also used for safety and protection by knights who used to wear them in battles in medieval Europe.
According to legend, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra once crushed a pearl stone on a wine glass to display Marc Antony her power and that’s how she could throw the most lavish and expensive dinner in human history.
Pearl Stones And Their Importance In Trading
Pearl stones have always been regarded as an important commodity for trade and this was especially so during the Roman times.
The discovery of high quality pearls in South and Central America during 15th and 16th centuries started the Pearl Age.
As the demand for pearls from Western Europe grew with time, it caused major shifts in the pearl based economy.
At one point of time, noble ladies and leading figures from royal families wore ornate pearl earrings, necklaces, brooches and bracelets.
By the start of the 19th century, such demands grew so high that it negatively impacted the oyster supplies.
Pearl Trade And The Modern Era
At one point of time, divers had to go deep beneath the ocean to search for pearls and collect them by hand.
This was not only risky but was not too productive at the end of the day. However, all of that has changed now with the commercial culturing of pearls.
This has also led to the widespread availability of this precious gemstone.