Thousands of years ago pearls were most likely discovered while searching the seashore for food. Throughout history, the warm glow and iridescent shine of the pearl soon became one of the most highly prized and sought after gems. The ancient Egyptians prized pearls so much they were buried with them. I read somewhere that Cleopatra reportedly dissolved a single pearl in a glass of wine and drank it. Not exactly what I’d consider a great cocktail.
Pearls with their unrivaled beauty are often associated with love and marriage. In the early 1950’s they were traditionally given to girls at their cotillion and graduation or sweet sixteen parties.
Unfortunately, greed and lust for the sea-grown gems resulted in the depletion of virtually all of the American pearl oyster populations by the 17th century. Until the early 1900's, natural pearls were accessible only to the rich and famous. In 1916, a French jeweler named Jacques Cartier bought his jewelry store on Fifth Avenue in New York by trading two pearl necklaces for the property. It would be nice to be able to do that now. Today, thanks to cultivation, pearls are available and affordable to all.I recently was fortunate enough to purchase a bag of cultured pearls. I've always found pearls to be very elegant. But, I love the idea of wearing them with jeans and a tee shirt too. I made this bracelet using some of the pearls.
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Available at Blue Iris Gifts