LEGEND HAS IT (Venus)
When Venus, goddess of love and beauty rose from the sea, the drops of water that fell from her body scattered and became a thousand perfect pearls.
In Persia, pearls are called the ‘Tears of the Gods’.
During many Chinese dynasties, it was believed that pearls fell from the sky when dragons fought.
We now call the pearl the queen of gems, but once a pearl was known as the Gem of Queens for good reason… Cleopatra was so enamoured by these lustrous gifts
that she may well have convinced her lover, Julius Caesar to invade Britain to secure the Green Isles supply of the pearls.
Gone are the days where a single pearl strand could buy a building on Fifth Avenue in New York.
THE MOST FAMOUS PEARL IN THE WORLD
The pearl known as "La Peregrina", is considered the most famous pearl in the world. Discovered in 1513 off the Pearl Islands it was the largest pearl of its time.
The pearl entered the Spanish Crown Jewels during 1479-1516. Worn by Queen Mary 1, King Phillip of Spain and various other Queen consorts of Spain as a pendant, necklace and hat ornament.
Taken by Napolean Bonaparte during the Spanish war and gifted to Joseph Bonaparte and then his son Charles, the pearl was eventually sold to the 2nd Marques of Abercorn.
Purchased by Richard Burton for his wife Elizabeth Taylor it was in 1969 set into a pearl, diamonds and rubies pendant by Cartier.
BIRTH OF A PEARL
Ancient Greeks believed, when the sun went down, oysters, attracted by moonlight, would float to the surface, open their shells, and collect the glistening evening dew.
The dew would soon be transformed into a radiant pearl.
Many scientists and poets have tried to explain how pearls are formed, but recent observations showed that few if any of natural pearls x-rayed contain the grain of sand or irritant at the origin of the gem,
The latest acknowledged explanation is that pearl formation is triggered by an occurrence resulting in the disruption of the epithelial cells of the mollusks within its soft tissues,
This occurrence can be an accident, an intrusion and/ or a reaction to a parasite. The fact that it takes up to 20,000 oysters to find a decent pearl combined with the button industry's
appetite for oyster nacre lead to the progressive depletion of natural oyster beds.
MODERN PEARL FARMING
Today most pearls are cultured, meaning that they are implanted with a nucleus to encourage the natural formation of a pearl.
Over 100 years ago, a group of passionate Japanese gentlemen perfected the method to produce round pearls reliably. Among them, Kokichi Mikimoto, a man with extraordinary vison
and drive started marketing those cultured pearls internationally, making them accessible to a larger group of fans. His example was followed by other pearlers and the history of the pearl was changed forever.
The value of pearls would not be solely driven on provenance or rarity anymore, but on the unique combination of 5 virtues that define each gem: size, surface, shape, shade and shine.
The endless quest of man for the perfect cultured pearl has produced gems whose virtues surpass any natural pearl ever harvested. Whilst the odds of harvesting a quality cultured pearl can reach
80% of seeded oysters, it can still take up to 1 million pearls to assemble a perfectly matched strand.