girl with a pearl earring - famous pearls
girl with a pearl earring - famous pearls

Seven Famous Pearls and Their Histories


Cursed, perfect, or just huge, these famous pearls are fascinating. Read their history-rich tales filled with people like Kublai Khan and Elizabeth Taylor.

10 Minute Read

Famous Pearls Across the Globe

Six of these famous pearls have made their way from one side of the world to the other, and four are interwoven with the history of multiple empires. Meanwhile, one hasn't left the banks of the river where it grew. Another has a story that's bizarre, fanciful, and largely fabricated. No two natural pearls are alike, and, when it comes to famous pearls, every story takes you somewhere new.

The Hope Pearl

Once considered the largest pearl in the world, the Hope Pearl weighs a whopping 450 carats. Once a part of the renowned Henry Philip Hope gem collection (along with the famous Hope Diamond), this pearl is actually a blister pearl, cut from the shell of a mollusk. The cut shell surface was polished to blend with the rest of the body.

Unfortunately, the exact origin of this famous pearl is lost to history. Hope purchased the pearl near the turn of the 19th century, pointing to origins in the Middle East. The region around the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea was the world's pearl hub for much of human history.

After his death in 1839, one of his nephews...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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