The History, Formation and Processing of Pearls to Make Exquisite Jewellery

The History, Formation and Processing of Pearls to Make Exquisite Jewellery


The first pearl was discovered a long time ago when humans were on their search for food. Since their discovery, pearls continue to be highly prized due to their glow and elegance. The gem also finds mention in many religious and cultural stories.

History of pearls

 Pearls were quite sought after by Egyptians, who preferred to be buried with them. According to history, Cleopatra is believed to have drunk wine which had a pearl dissolved in it. In Roman culture, pearls symbolized social standing and wealth. Greeks believed that beautiful pearls symbolized marriage and love. Pearls were also worn in the period of the Dark Ages.

During this time, maidens wore delicate pearl necklaces while the knights believed that the gems contained magical powers that could prevent possible harm in battles. The gems were also popular during the Renaissance period. They were associated with wealth and nobility and were usually worn by people of ranks.

Until around the start of the 1900’s, the various kinds of natural pearls could only be worn by the famous and rich people. However, after 1916, the gems began becoming accessible to the masses.

Formation of pearls

Pearls are created by live oysters below the sea surface. They are created when shells or parasites get lodged in the inner body of an oyster. As a defence, the oyster secretes crystalline substance. Layers of this substance called nacre lead to formation of pearls.


Processing pearls

Pearls are processed to be sold in the market. Cultured pearls are produced by nucleating numerous oysters. Once harvested from the oysters, they are sorted on the basis of their lustre, colour, shape and size. Post sorting they are drilled in order to make them fit for various jewellery pieces.

Pearls have been worn by people since time immemorial. These days, they are available in many varieties and may be chosen to create beautiful jewellery pieces.