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. All these pearls are natural. No two natural pearls are alike, and neither are their stories. 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….
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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