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A Brief History of the Pearl

Pearls are considered a timeless classic. And for good reason. Pearls have been a form of adornment and status for thousands of years, all around the world.

As early as 2300 BC, pearls were the go-to gift for royalty, symbolizing loyalty (from the giver) and wisdom (of the receiver). In the first century, Julius Caesar even passed a law that declared that pearls should only be worn by the ruling classes.

Meanwhile over in India, pearls were believed to pass on calm to its wearer, attracting both good luck and wealth. The Mahraja Khande Rao Gaekwad of Baroda donned a legendary seven-strand necklace, so much so that the prized necklace gained a name: the Baroda Pearls.

Pearls were also a significant part of trade, especially after they were discovered in Central and South America in the 15th century. This ushered in what was called the Pearl Age.

An obvious form of wealth and status, the demand escalated, especially in Western Europe, where royals and aristocrats wanted to emulate their peers in China, India and Arab states.

And by the 19th century, demand for pearl jewelry became so high that the supply of natural pearls began to dwindle, making natural pearl jewelry prices skyrocket to six or even seven figures at auctions.

Today people can choose more eco-friendly freshwater pearls who use sustainable practices to create the opalescent final product. See below.