FREE delivery on ALL UK orders!

A brief history of pearls

 A brief history of pearls

Pearls are the most widely used gemstone in the world. They’re unique in themselves in the fact that they do not come not, but from deep inside the oceans. Formed from a grain of sand inside a shell, pearls are used not only in jewellery, but in cosmetics, chemicals, polishes, medicine, ornaments, and clothes. But the naturally round gemstones are largely used in jewellery, set in brooches, necklaces, earrings, tiaras, rings and numerous other accessories. 

Since jewellery is often exchanged as a gift, pearls have often been used as gifts. History of pearls being gifted can be found as early as the 13th century. A Mongolian emperor by the name of Kublai Khan was gifted an Arco Valley Pearl by the traveller Marco Polo. This pearl was sold off in an auction at Abu Dhabi in 2007, and the whereabouts are currently unknown.  In the 16th century, the La Peregrina pearl was gifted to the bride of Prince Phillip II of Spain. Even in recent times, Marilyn Monroe who famously crooned that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, kept a string of pearls by Joe DiMaggio as her most treasured possession. Fashion icon Grace Kelly always kept a string of pearls on her person before and after becoming the Princess of Monaco. Her frequented ornaments included a diamond and pearl necklace that her husband gifted her.

Pearls are created by the plantation of a nucleus inside an oyster, which allows a pearl to form around the nucleus itself.

The use of pearls in jewellery dates back to the era of the Ancient Greeks. These gemstones were one of the most valuable gems in many cultures around the world, right up until the beginning of the 20th century. Their value was such, that in the Byzantine Empire, all but the emperor were forbidden from wearing pearls, and such was the situation in many other cultures and societies. While they were associated with purity and modesty in some societies, the ancient Chinese civilization believed them to be protectors, as they were believed to keep dragons and fire from harming the wearing. Seed pearls in Victorian-era England symbolized tears in mourning. 

However, these gemstones became more easily accessible in the 19th century, once the masses of Asia learned how to cultivate pearls themselves. Which is how they came to be as commonly used as they are today. Pearls are the most common gemstone found today. Both real and fake pearls adorn the dresses are persons of billions. 

However, despite its trustworthiness, this gemstone does demand special care. The perspiration that gathers on pearls from use tends to wear away the pearl’s luster. It is important to take a damp cloth and wipe it over the pearls to clear away the build-up. In addition to this, they must be kept away from heat.

We offer a range of handmade Swarovski pearl earringsbracelets and necklaces. We also sell these as a set.


Previous Article Next Article

What Is Statement Jewellery?

You’ve probably been hearing the phrase ‘statement jewellery’ for a while now and even own one, yet you’ve never really understood why it’s named so. Find out more

Three Back To Work Tips

Here are three earring looks you cannot go wrong with when returning to the office.

Introducing.... Unveiling Beauty

  Welcome to Unveiling Beauty! Unveiling Beauty officially launched in August 2021 by Pamela Adeyeba. Pamela is a Forbes Featured entrepreneur, cer...

How wearing jewellery can affect your feelings

When we hear about jewellery, the first things our minds go to of course are earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. But have you ever thought of the...