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History and lore about pearl

History and lore about pearl

13 Jun, 2022 | Gemstone | Gem Selection

History of pearls 

Natural pearls have long been emblems of riches and dignity. In 2206 BC, a Chinese historian wrote about natural pearls. Natural pearls remained popular as the ages passed. Royal families and rich people in Asia, Europe, and beyond handed down natural pearls. 

Ancient sources of natural pearls included the Persian Gulf, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Chinese rivers and lakes, and European rivers. 

Christopher Columbus met natives wearing genuine pearls on his third (1498) and fourth (1502) expeditions to the New World. Discovering natural pearl deposits in Venezuela and Panama boosted European demand. Overfishing, pearl culture, plastic buttons, and oil drilling reduced natural pearl supplies within a century. 

Chinese pioneers initially farmed pearls hundreds of years ago, while Japanese pioneers succeeded about 1900. The 1920s saw their commercialization (about the same time natural pearl production began to decline). Pearl culture flourished globally from the 1930s to the 1980s. 


Pearls Lore 

  • Pearls have traditionally symbolized water's mystery, strength, and life-sustaining aspect.

  • Many civilizations relate pearls' spherical form to the moon. Ancient Chinese thought pearls were protected against fire and dragons. They represented modesty, chastity, and purity throughout Europe.

  • Ancient Egyptians identified pearls with the goddess Isis.

  • Said to keep ladies beautiful and youthful.

  • King James Bible says Heaven's Gates are composed of pearls.

  • Pearls were a Christian emblem of spiritual purity.

  • A romantic tradition says the moon shines over the water to lure oysters so it may impregnate them with dew.

  • Pearls protect children and symbolize innocence.

  • Hebrew tradition says Eve's tears after being expelled from Eden became pearls.

  • Pearls have been employed as aphrodisiacs and insanity cures in every civilization.

  • Pearls around a woman's neck are said to protect her fidelity.

  • Bestows fortune, renown, and goal fulfillment.

  • Moon-like objects shine white.

  • Spiritual transformation symbol.

  • Pearls remind the wearer, to be honest, pure, smart, and dignified.

  • Pearls supposedly accelerate karma.

  • Chinese mythology says pearls fall when dragons fight.

  • Pearls convey ministry-related insight.

  • Pearls are formed when a rainbow meets the ground, according to mythology.

  • Early Chinese believed black pearls were generated in a dragon's head. They thought one had to defeat the dragon to get these pearls, which grew between its fangs.

  • Brings wealth, recognition, and self-fulfillment.

  • Believed to solidify connections.

  • In the Orient, pearls are sometimes connected with angels', mermaids,' or nymphs' tears.

  • Pearls dissolved in crimson wine make the drinker fall in love with the spell-caster.

  • Pearls are believed to guard against evil spirits, the anger of the gods, and ill Luck.

  • Blue pearls represent love.

  • Black or gold pearls represent riches.

  • Pink pearls bring fame and prosperity.

  • Brown pearls symbolize pragmatism, masculinity, reliability, stability, harmony, protection, and comfort.

  • White pearls symbolize purity, innocence, and fresh beginnings.

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