5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pearls

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It’s no secret that a string of pearls would make a classy finish to an LBD. Pearls have long been regarded for their timeless elegance and great versatility - elevating a simple dress into something sophisticated just as easily as they would make a spectacular finish to a glamorous outfit. But there’s more to the pearl than meets the eye:

Nature’s Essence

The pearl is the only gemstone in the world that comes from a living animal – in this case, it’s the oyster. Removing a pearl from an oyster might kill it, but some mussels survive the extraction.

Oldest Gem Known to Man

The art of collecting pearls date back to over 4000 years, and have been prized ever since for their iridescent beauty and their natural elegance. The oldest pearl jewelry in recorded history was discovered in a Persian Princess’ tomb. She died in 520 BC.

None Like The Other

Like a snowflake, no pearl is like another with their own unique character and distinct form. But the one similarity pearls do share, is that none of them are perfect.

Inner Elements

A pearl’s color can be the classic and easily recognizable white and ivory, but pearls can also be black, pink, purple and even gold. How they get their color depends entirely on the inner elements of the shells in which they were created.

‘Diseased’ Beauty

While the pearl is intrinsically beautiful, the forming of which is somewhat ‘ugly’. Because of either perceived or real threats outside the shell, from parasites to actual attacks that damage its mantle tissue, a defense mechanism encourages certain mollusks to form a pearl inside the shell.

Cleopatra’s Famous Bet

An old legend tells of Cleopatra’s famous bet with Marc Anthony where she could spend a small fortune on one single meal. She was said to have won after dissolving one of her pearl earrings in her cocktail and drinking the extravagant concoction. But the legend is likely just a legend, as a pearl would take hours before it dissolves in vinegar or in an alcoholic drink. So unless Cleopatra swallowed the pearls whole, it couldn’t possibly have happened… Or could it?

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