What is Pearl, Its Symbolism, and Meaning
Pearl doesn’t arise from the crust of the earth but from the depth of the sea.
A unique gemstone that requires no special polishing or cutting just to present and maximize its embedded lustrous beauty, which has been treasured since ancient times. A pure and elegant gemstone. It represents a jewel that has been loved by every woman in the world throughout ages.
The small foreign bodies that look like grains of sand or small parasites get inside the mollusk to form layers of this fascinating pearly materials. These layers that build up like layers of onion form concentric circles that act as a defense shield of this important gemstone found at the bottom of fresh and saltwater.
A fascinating reality is that the more layers formed, the larger the Pearl has been created.
The overlapping layers have created an iridescent luster and brightness that what we commonly called the Orient of the Pearl. A variety of Pearls have been developed and categorized throughout the years. It depends on the kind of mollusk and water in which this gemstone has been found.
Do you want to know first-hand knowledge and learn more about the Pearl, its history, myths, and symbolism? Keep reading our article because we will walk you through the fascinating and exciting facts about Pearl that everyone has loved and how this gemstone has always remained in style throughout the years.
Pearls are widely found in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of California. Freshwater and saltwater pearls are widespread in Japan, China, Ireland, Scotland, France, Austria, Australia, the USA, and Germany.
Pearls have a long and exciting history that has developed in different cultures. Throughout other civilizations around the world has their own contributions to the legacy of this unique gemstone, making it the most storied gems in the world.
The oldest pearls estimated date of origin is between 5550 BC and 5200 BC, found in the United Arab Emirates. Archaeologists believed that this Pearl is approximately 7,500 years old, making it the oldest Pearl ever seen globally.
In the early days, the natural pearls were rare and expensive. In Ancient Rome, the Pearl has been a symbol of upper-class nobility that was commonly worn by society’s elite class. A famous legend circulated during the Ancient Rome said that the pearls were so expensive in the Roman Republic that one of their generals could buy and finance an entire military campaign by merely selling one of his mother’s pearl earrings.
Pearls were used in jewelry in Ancient Greece. During the Byzantine empire, there is a law that stated the only the emperor was allowed to wear Pearl. Other societies also had their special rules regarding the only person who are allowed to wear these little treasures.
During the 16th century in England, which is also called the “Pearl Age.” This period reflects the prestige and value of pearls at that time.
During the Age of Discovery, traders and explorers have found North America’s rivers rich with natural pearls and began exporting it back to Europe immediately. It became highly popular with the aristocrats. In 1612, a law was enacted by the Duke of Germany that declares that only royal court members are allowed and has the right to wear pearls.
Pearls in the early 1900s became more accessible in Asia since they discovered how to create cultured pearls. This discovery has changed the world of pearls at the beginning of the 20th century. A Japanese pearl farmer Kokichi Mikimoto, together with his wife, has invented a method of artificially making oysters produce pearls by inserting a small piece of the membrane into the shell.
By culturing pearls, they carefully place a small nucleus into a living oyster. Then a pearl forms around the nucleus that allows pearls to be created in oyster farms. These developments in culturing pearls made this gemstone more available to more people.
There are a lot of various myths that speak about the precious gem of the sea. The beliefs that come from different cultures all over the world refer to the magical and divine origin of this elegant gem, Pearl. Some of the myths are far-fetched, but they do symbolize how important Pearls were to ancient civilizations. The following are some of the old myths that became famous throughout the ages:
- During the ancient Japanese times, they believed that the tears of nymphs, mermaids, and angels created pearls.
- During the ancient Persian times, Pearls were believed to be created after a storm. It is stated that a rainbow from the sky met with the earth, and then lightning and thunder are the reasons for the imperfections found in the Pearl.
- Egyptians, during ancient times, were buried with their pearls. Other fascinating stories about the significance of Pearl in Roman history are that Cleopatra had to dissolve a pearl earring into a cup of vinegar. She drank it in front of the Roman leaders. This gesture is simply her means to prove to Mark Anthony and other Roman leaders that she can host the most expensive dinner in history.
- Based on Vedic texts, the Pearl is created from the Earth’s waters, and heaven’s powers are fertilized by a flash of lightning. Pearl is said to be the daughter of the Moon.
- In Western beliefs, the Pearl has been associated with Venus, who is the Goddess of Love. Both came from the sea, pearls, and Venus.
- During the early Chinese civilization, black pearls were very symbolic that it means wisdom. Chinese believed that the gems were formed inside the head of a dragon. Once the dragon has fully grown, it carried the black pearls between its teeth. And according to legends, a person can own or get the pearls only by slaying the dragon to death.
- According to legends, when God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, they cried, and their tears created a lake of pearls. The tears of Eve created the white pearls while the tears of Adam created the black pearls. It is also said that Adam shed fewer tears than Eve. That is why black pearls are rarer than white pearls.
- As stated in the Koran, Pearl can be found in Paradise, and it is one of the most significant rewards. Hence, Pearl symbolizes perfection.
- For Hindus and Christians, the Pearl symbolizes purity. This started the practice of the brides wearing pearls on their wedding days, which still continues today.
Fun Facts about Pearl
- In the 13th century, Marco Polo presented a stunning Arco Valley Pearl to the Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan that weighs in 575 carats and 3 inches long.
- Prince Philip II gave the famous beautiful Pearl called La Peregrina to his bride. La Peregrina is a white pear-shaped saltwater pearl that had royal owners until the 1960s.
- Richard Burton gave the La Peregrina to his wife, Elizabeth Taylor.
- Marilyn Monroe has treasured jewelry, a sixteen-inch string of pearls given to her by Joe DiMaggio during their honeymoon in Japan.
- Pearl has become the favorite accessory of Grace Kelly, the Princess Grace of Monaco. Her husband, Prince Rainier, gave her a jewelry set made of luxurious Pearl and diamond that she wore frequently.
The Birthstone and Anniversary
Pearl has been the birthstone for June.
Its Value and Appearance
Pearls are not measured by carats but rather by their weight given in grains. One grain of Pearl is equal to the one-quarter carat of gemstone weight. This means that it takes 4 grains of Pearl to equal 1 carat in weight for other gemstones. The color of genuine pearls differs from white to pink, blue, brown, gray, and black. The value also depends on the type of mollusk and water in which the Pearl has been found. Jewelers valued pearls by size, shape, color, luster, and degree of perfection. Pearls have been rated on the Mohs Hardness scale between 2.5-4.5 hardness.
Pearl Colors and their Meanings
Pearls have dozens of different colors and popular varieties as follows:
- White – this is the most common pearl color that symbolizes innocence and purity. This variety of pearls also means a new beginning. That is why it is popularly worn by brides or gifts for newborn babies.
- Pink – this stands for love, passion, and romance. This color is so popular that it has been commonly given to a spouse or romantic partner. They are soft and romantic in color, making it the perfect gift for graduation because of their promise for the future!
- Blue – symbolizes eternity, truth, tranquility, trust, courage, and longevity. The blue pearls also signify dedication. The blue Pearl is given to someone who appreciates peaceful and tranquil moments in life.
- Purple – represents artistic, wisdom, complexity, nobility, and passion. Purple pearls are fitted for those in the teaching and philosophy profession where education is significant.
- Yellow – symbolizes creativity, optimism, clarity, and happiness. This cheerful color is ideal for someone who makes sure they are living their life to the fullest.
- Green – stands for balance, nature, hope, growth, and renewal. Green pearls are the epitome of absolute beauty and unique in color. This green Pearl is ideal for someone who wanted to start a new chapter in life or inspired to continue their personal growth.
- Gold – like other gold things in the world, represents wealth and prosperity.
- Black – is believed to bring good luck and protection from evil forces. Black pearls are considered to be extremely rare. This variety of pearls is the most mysterious-looking of all colored pearls. It represents mystery, independence, strength, and riches. These pearls are suitable for women that wanted to have a bit of edge to their style.
The natural pearls are scarce, which, up to this day, increases their value considerably. The search for the perfect Pearl has been common practice for centuries already. In fact, evidence of pearl cultivation has been found since the 13th century. An extraordinary method has been developed that states that anyone who could throw away pearls was considered wealthy. This practice means that a caster would select a fine pearl among its collection, then throw it out into a rubbish place.
In a millennia before cultured pearls have discovered, pearls were challenging to find and harvest. That is why it is related to the saying that when wisdom is found, treasure it like a black pearl.
A mineralogist George Kunz made a comparison between diamond and Pearl in his 1913 work “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones.” As stated in his book, “The diamond is to the pearl as the sun is to the moon, and we might well call one the “king-gem” and the other the “queen-gem.” The diamond, like a knight of old- brilliant and resistant, is the emblem of fearlessness and invincibility; the Pearl, like an old lady- pure and fair to look upon, is the emblem of modesty and purity.”
Brides in Asia wear pearl necklaces as symbols of fertility.
Its Benefits: Health and Spiritual Attributes
- Pearl is a known stone that offers protection and security. This stone will provide you a sense of inner confidence and serenity that will allow you to face all life’s unexpected challenges.
- Pearl is also known for its calming effects and its ability to balance one’s aura. It will help you ground and put your life in the center no matter how chaotic your life is. The Pearl is believed to anchor you to your reality, so you will not become cynical with your life.
- Pearl is also believed to enlighten your mind and help you to determine what is right from wrong efficiently.
- Pearl will cultivate your inner wisdom and help you build your personal integrity. This stone will open your mind and help you to find your true meaning and purpose in life.
- Pearl, as one of the crystals that heal, can help treat digestive tract disorders and other muscular system conditions.
- It also a useful aid in fertility and helps in easing pain and discomforts brought by childbirth.
- It also aids in regulating your hormone levels that restore balance and natural rhythm to your body.
- Pearl is believed to benefit people suffering from lung disease, bronchitis, asthma, and TB.
Pearl as Jewelry
In modern times, when a lady wears pearls, she embodies impeccable style and grace. She demonstrates her classic sense of beauty and elegance by wearing a piece of pearl jewelry. Some of the known influential ladies in fashion and style over the years have made it public their love and passion with pearls. For instance, Coco Chanel said that “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” Lady Sarah Churchill said that “I feel undressed if I don’t have my pearls on. My Pearls are my security blanket.” and lastly, Grace Kelly said that “I favor pearls on screen and in my private life.”
Pearls became the epitome of romance and femininity, making it the perfect jewelry for brides walking down the aisle.
A piece of pearl jewelry is a beautiful, fashionable, and classic jewelry worn by all women worldwide regardless of fashion style and age.
Pearl jewelry is very versatile that they can be paired with any kind of outfit, from casual to formal wear. There are many styles of pearl jewelry that can be a perfect addition to your wardrobe. The following are some of our own collection that embodies different styles of pearl jewelry that may suit your lifestyle and fashion preferences.
- Pearl Earrings
Our Studded Pearl Earring is themed as natural vintage made out of the Mother of Pearl and Sterling Silver. The stud’s design on the crown of the pearl-shaped is an absolute marvel that shows elegance and sophistication at the highest level.
Our Triangle Pearl Earring, is themed as minimalistic with its sleek and stunning beauty. It is handcrafted using sterling silver and added a pair of dangling freshwater pearls for a touch of elegance.
- Pearl Rings
Our Pearl Clover Ring depicts a rectangular ring made of sterling silver with meticulously handcrafted and plated to form the elegant petals of golden clover. It finished with a natural freshwater pearl placed as a centerpiece and stigma of the lucky clover. This is a masterpiece that shows the perfect blend of minimalistic design and Pearl.
Our Magnolia Ring comes with either a pink or white color pearl. A piece of jewelry that shows the timeless classic beauty and elegance of Pearl. A perfect accessory for every lady on their formal and memorable occasion.
How to Take Care of your Pearl Jewelry
Everyone wanted their pearl jewelry to last a lifetime. To make this possible, you must keep in mind the following tips on how to take care of your pearl jewelry:
- Do not expose it to sunlight, humidity dryness, wide temperature variations, or acids since it can all dull your Pearl’s luster.
- Pearls can easily be marked by scratches and crushed by pressure so store it properly in a jewelry box separated from your other jewelry.
- You can wear your pearls often since your body’s natural oils keep your pearls lustrous.
- Always remember to wipe it with a soft cloth before storing it or putting it away.
Pearl has been the most valuable and oldest known gem for centuries. Unlike other gemstones found from the earth, this magnificent gem comes from a living creature, an organic matter.
Pearl, in general, is the result of sand or speck. That is why it said to be a gemstone for nourishment or nurturing. It is believed to be able to enhance your ability to take care and nurture yourself. Pearl also is very soothing and calming in nature, which makes it one of the favorite gems or jewels by every woman in the world.
Pearl jewelry is often used as family heirlooms passed on from a grandmother to mother and from a mother to a daughter. Being the most magical of all gems, Pearl has been considered as one of the most romantic gifts to a lady for ages. So please check our extensive collection of sterling silver with pearl jewelry for your family heirloom or a gift for a special someone.