Facts about pearls are probably not something you’d remember to search for, yet wouldn’t mind knowing. Yup, I know…who would ever remember to research the history of pearls! But, let me tell you something – there are a lot of things regarding these small, decorative objects that a girl would find interesting! A lot of information about pearls is actually really fascinating! I happened to run across a few tidbits of interesting information, continued to research further just for the fun of it, and came to a conclusion that this is something I’d definitely want to pass along. Sound interesting? Well, here’s an interesting pearl fact or two...
1. Pearl Prices
Did you know pearls used to be really expensive? The first of many noteworthy facts about pearls is their price, which was pretty darn high back in the days when pearls had to be searched for and found instead of cultured! Perfectly shaped, lustrous pearls that are so common nowadays had not been a usual sight in the 1700s and 1800s which, of course, affected the price, making pearl necklaces just as posh as diamonds and unavailable to common men and women!
2. Dangerous Profession
Here's a fact about pearls you might not have known: collecting pearls was a dangerous profession! The history of pearls has not been the most fortunate one, at least not for all the men who died extracting them! You see, before methods for culturing pearls had been developed, people had to dive to collect pearl oysters, in hopes that some, or most of them would contain pearls of suitable shape and quality. Not the coziest job you could imagine, huh? Especially not without the modern diving equipment which didn’t exist back then!
3. Female Names
A fact about pearls that I found interesting, is that many female names actually stand for pearls! Delicate, lustrous, and rare, pearls have always been a symbol for many admirable qualities. To name a few, purity, delicacy, and innocence. And we can’t blame folks for wanting their daughters to bear names that bring those things to mind, now can we? But which names are we talking about here? Well, all of you who bear the name Margaret, and Marjorie, as well as Maggie, Peggy and even Gretchen, Greta or Rita, should know that your name originated from the word “Margarita,” meaning "pearl." Cool, huh? And if I were you, this interesting pearl fact is something I’d share with everyone!
4. Pearl Culturing Methods
How neat is it to know that pearl culturing methods originated in Japan? After successfully competing with diamonds and managing to keep their prestige roughly 2 centuries after the girl’s best friends were discovered, pearls finally “lost their luster” in the early 20th century. Not one, or two, but three Japanese men have successfully and individually managed to produce a cultured pearl, turning a common woman’s dream of owning a pearl necklace into a reality. One of the three inventors, Kokichi Mikimoto, now reaps the fruits of all of their success, having bought the rights and established a world-known business. What an amazing fact about pearls!
5. Modern Pearls
Pearls sold nowadays are real but not natural. They are cheaper than ever before, and as perfectly round as they get. These pearls are completely real but unfortunately, not natural! Unlike the obviously faux pearls that are nothing more than painted plastic, real pearls are the product of pearl oysters and as such, can be qualified as the real deal and even cost quite a bit. They are not natural however, as their creation is triggered by inserting a so-called “seed” or “irritant” into the oyster, causing it to do the same thing it would do in the wild – layer calcium carbonate to isolate the imposter. Natural, or so-called “wild” pearls are still present and very pricey, although their extraction nowadays doesn’t threaten to place the mollusks that produce them on the endangered species list. All this is thanks to the fact that, instead of being destroyed, they are now kept for future farming. What do you think of this fact about pearls?
6. Modern Methods for Harvesting Pearls
Speaking about interesting pearl facts that have certainly improved throughout the whole history of pearls – did you know that this modern way of implanting and harvesting pearls doesn’t involve hurting the oyster? You see, unlike the old times, in which finding the pearl-bearing oyster was only about getting the pearl, harvesting techniques nowadays involve re-using the oyster to produce even more pearls! This, of course, translates to “not hurting the poor thing during the extraction process.”
7. Pearls Are like Fingerprints
They might look the same when arranged into a necklace but each one is most definitely as unique as they get! Interesting, isn’t it? In fact, this just might be one of the most interesting facts about pearls on this list! After all, who could have guessed that even the cultured pearls don’t always turn out perfect! Perfection and shape aside, you should also know that even the best of pearls do differ slightly, all due to the fact that they are the only precious element used in jewelry created by a living organism.
Well, one thing is for sure – these interesting pearl facts will definitely cause you to see your grandma’s necklaces and pearl embellished jewelry in a whole different light! And who knows…if they are really old and really fine, there is a good chance you might be looking at a real, natural pearl! Did you know all of these facts about pearls and is there something you might like to add? Please comment below if you know any interesting facts about pearls!
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