9 Quirky Facts About Pearls

Ancient Pearl Treasures
White/Gold/Black Strands of Pearls Spilling out of Bronze Patterned Antique Containers






1.  Pearls are one of the oldest gemstones and No Two are alike.

2.   They are the only gemstones to come from living organisms and, therefore, do not have to be cut and polished like other gems.   They are simply removed from the Molluscs in which they are formed.

3.   They are the birthstones of those people born in June, so if you have a June Birthday, you know what present to ask  for!   Over the years you could build up quite a Pearl Collection by making a request, say every 2 or 3 years, for one or more pieces of Pearl jewellery.  You would not wish to appear avaricious by asking for them more frequently, or would you?

4.   Pearls are formed not only in Oysters, but also in Mussels, both of which are part of the Mollusc invertebrate family.

5.   Cultured Pearls, (farmed Pearls), are created by a skilled/trained person inserting an irritant, for example a tiny bead, into the soft tissue of a mollusc, around which it forms layers of nacre, resulting in a pearl a few years later.  Yes, just one.

6.   The stunning Black Pearls from Tahiti are formed inside the Tahitian black lipped oysters.   However, they also develop other colours such as dark grey, green and silver.  The  resulting hues are rainbow like, rather like the colour seen in an oil slick.

7.   Julius Caesar gave Servilia, the woman he is said to have loved  and who was the mother of Mark Brutus – yes, the same Brutus who later betrayed him and was one of his murderers – a rare black pearl  costing, it is said by Suetonius, the ancient Roman Historian,  6,000,000 sestertii ,  the Roman currency during that period.

8.    Caligula, the mad Roman Emperor,  who is said to have made his horse, Incitatus, a Senator – or stated his intention to do so anyway – placed pearls around the horse`s neck.   It is unclear, even from the writings of Suetonius, whether he did, in fact, give Incitatus a Seat in the Senate!   The consensus – at least on the part of some of the old writers – seems to be that the Emperor would have done so if he had not been murdered before he could.

9.   The King James Bible states that there were 12 Gates leading into the Holy City of Jerusalem; they were made of Pearls, and each Gate consisted of one Pearl.





Eileen De Gannes




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