History of pearls

Science of periculture

Ten facts about pearls

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Ten facts about pearls

The Styx necklace from the Pallas Collection.

Pearl fact 1 - Pearls are the only gemstone made by living animals.

Pearl fact 2 - Harvesting pearls from mollusks does not kill the animals, as they can be re-implanted and used to make more pearls.

Pearl fact 3 - Akoya, or saltwater pearls come from oysters, but freshwater pearls usually come from mussels, although all mollusks can make pearls.

Pearl fact 4 - Pearls take their color from the inside of the shell in which they are growing. They range from white to gold, and from purple to black.

Pearl fact 5 - Virtually all pearls today are "cultured" or "cultivated". Harvesting "natural" pearls was compromised by water pollution, tsunamis, and other phenomena that made it difficult to leave the oysters safely in the water long enough to grow sizeable pearls.

Pearl fact 6 - Every pearl is unique. No two are alike, and all have some imperfections.

Pearl fact 7 - The oldest known pearl jewelry fragment was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC.

Pearl fact 8 - Cleopatra won a bet that she could provide Marc Antony with a banquet costing more than the assets of a country. She took off a pearl earring, dissolved it in wine and drank it.

Pearl fact 9 - Pearl farming is know as "Periculture."

Pearl fact 10 - In 1916, Jacques Cartier bought his 5th Avenue store by trading two pearl necklaces for the land.

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