Amazing pearl facts
The world of pearls has an incredible history that has created some amazing facts along the way. Here are our top ten pearl facts:
- There are a number of girls’ names that mean pearl, such as Margarita, Margaret, Peggy, Maggie, Gretchen, Gretal and Rita. The name is used to reflect purity and innocence.
- Pierre Cartier bought the famous jeweller’s New York headquarters with a two strand pearl necklace valued at $1million. He got quite a bargain, as 40 years later the same necklace only fetched $157,000 at auction.
- Julius Caesar was right to invade Britain looking for pearls, but he didn’t get far enough north. The River Tay near Perth in Scotland is known for its natural pearls, which are still found there to this day.
- The world’s largest pearl is the Pearl of Allah, also known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu, which was found in a giant clam in 1934. It measures 240mm, weighs 6.4 kg and was valued at almost $62m in 2006.
- The most famous pearl in the world is La Peregrina or the incomparable. The largest perfectly symmetrical pear shaped pearl in the world, this famous gem has been owned by Phillip II of Spain, Mary Tudor and Napoleon, as well as Elizabeth Taylor. It was auctioned in December 2011 for a record price of $11m.
- The longest pearl necklace ever was 222m long (728ft) and contained 27,750 pearls. It was created for the 60th Pearl Festa in Japan in 2010.
- The Chinese once thought that pearls fell from the sky when dragons were fighting, while others thought they were moonlight trapped in dewdrops. Ancient Greeks thought they were the tears of the gods.
- Pearl is the birthstone for June and the gift for the 1st, 12th and 30th wedding anniversary.
- You need to sort through around 10,000 pearls to find the 50 matching pearls required for a 16 inch pearl necklace.
- The oldest pearl jewellery still in existence is the Susa pearls, a triple string choker of around 238 pearls held in gold clasps, which was found in what was Ancient Persia in 1901. The necklace was dated to around 350BC and has been on display at the Louvre for over a century.