Pearl Education

Like Pearls, the Goddess of Love Came from the Sea.

How Pearls are created

Pearls are formed inside mollusks such as oysters and clams. When an irritant works its way between the mantle and the shell of an oyster, a fluid is released (acting as a defence mechanism), to coat the irritant. Layers of this coating are deposited until a lustrous object is created, called "PEARL". 

Types of Pearls

Pearls come in varied and unusual but beautiful shapes and sizes. The most valuable pearls are perfectly symmetrical, quite large, and are naturally produced. Pearls are born in different parts of the world but the principal oyster bed lay in the Persian Gulf, along the coasts of India and Sri Lanka, and in the Red Sea. Pearls vary in colour from white to brown or black. The coloration of the pearl depends on the type of mollusk and the water where the mollusk lived.

  • Natural pearls are made without human interference, whereas cultured pearls are created by intentionally inserting a foreign substance into a living oyster to produce the pearl.

  • Baroque pearls are natural pearls that come in irregular shapes.

  • Freshwater pearls form in fresh water mollusks and resemble puffed rice. Freshwater pearls cover the widest range of options for pearl buyers in size, shape and colour.

  • Blister pearls grow attached to the inside of the shell.

Pearl Mythology

Pearls have been incorporated into the mythology of several cultures. Since the beginning of time, these delicate gems have been attributed with having great powers. 

  • Greek- pearls are the tears of joy shed by the goddess Aphrodite. The ancient Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote harmony in a marriage and prevent newlyweds from shedding tears

  • Egyptians- associated pearls with Isis- the goddess of life and healing. Cleopatra crushed a pearl into a glass of wine to prove to Mark Antony that she could give the most expensive and luxurious dinner in the history of Ancient times

  • Hindu- Krishna plucked the first pearl from the deep depths of the ocean and gave this pearl to his daughter Pandaia on her wedding day as a symbol of love, union, and purity

  • Ancient Vedic Texts- the pearl is born of the Earth’s waters and the heaven’s powers, fertilized by a flash of lightning. It’s considered to be the daughter of the Moon

  • Romans: Roman General Vitellius financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's pearl earrings

  • Persian- Pearls were created when a rainbow met the earth after a storm; imperfections in a pearls appearance were the result of thunder and lightning.

  • Adam & Eve: One legend says the tears Eve cried when she was banished from Eden turned to pearls

Pearl History and Symbolism

Being born out of water, a pearl represents the manifestation of a new life. With the creation of life from a shell, a pearl is symbolically associated to chastity, forming a representation of the wearer's integrity, loyalty, and purity. 

Status Symbol- worn in Roman Emperors, pearls were worn as an instrument of luxury and nearly forbidden to be worn by those who didn't measure up to the standards of an upper class.