I don't know about you but my grandmother had a special set of pearls she wore for special occasions. According to her, pearls finished the outfit and you were ready for anything.
I have a pair of pearl earrings but I do not wear them very often. I might have a pearl necklace but I moved so much in my early years that they could be in a box somewhere. I don't think I've ever fully unpacked. That is on my to list when I retire.
Pearls are actually formed inside both freshwater and saltwater oysters. The pearl starts out as a foreign body that settled in between the mantle and the shell and irritated the mantle. The oyster coats the irritation with nacre, the same material as used to make its shell. Although white pearls are quite popular, pearls also come in several colors including pink, green, blue, grey and black.
Black pearls are only found in the South Pacific. Black pearls are often referred to as the Queen of Gems and have been in use as far back as the 5th century. Due to being so rare, they were only used by royalty and the extremely rich and powerful.
There is a story that Cleopatra bet Mark Anthony she could host the most expensive dinner in history. She set the table with bare plates and served wine. In her wine, she took a pearl earring and dissolved it in her wine, then drank it. She won the bet and it is thought the pearl she used would be worth 9 million dollars in today's society.
Now for the 10 most expensive pearls in the world.
1. A Pierre Cartier pearl necklace sold for 1 million dollars back in the early 20th century when pearls sold for as much as famous paintings. The two strand necklace consisted of 128 pearls total, 55 in the upper strand and 73 in the lower strand.
2. A three strand necklace of natural pearls with 180 pearls varying in size from 4.95 to 11.05 mm sold at auction for $1.4 million.
3. A five strand necklace also of natural peals sold at Christie's in 2012 for $1.7 million. The 347 pearls range in size from 4.35 to 11.35 mm and is finished with a gold and black silk cord to tie rather than a diamond clasp.
4. The Cowdray pearls sold for $3.3 million when auctioned off in 2002. This single strand necklace is comprised of 38 natural grey pearls varying in size from 6.8 to 11.4mm.
5. The Pearl of Lao Tzu also known as the Pearl of Allah, valued at 3.5 million for this single pearl. It was discovered in the waters off of the Philippines back in the 1930's. It measures 24 cm across and 9.45 cm long and weighs 14 pounds. Although it is not particularly attractive, it is still considered quite valuable.
6. A double strand pearl necklace composed of 120 pearls ranging in size from 6.5 to 12.25 mm and varies in color from white to a beautiful cream was last sold for $3.7 million in 2012. The pearl's rosy and green overtones in addition to the diamond clasp are what makes it so valuable.
7. The Big Pink Pearl is a natural Abalone pearl in a beautiful iridescent pink. The 470 carat pearl was discovered in 1990 by a diver and he still owns it. It is valued at S4.7 million currently.
8. The Baroda Pearl necklace is worth a cool $7.1 million. The two strand necklace is composed of 68 pearls selected from the original seven strand owned by the Maharajas of India. The 68 perfectly matched pearls range in size from 10 to 16 mm with a diamond encrusted clasp finishing off its perfection.
9. La Peregrina Pearl which was once owned by Philip II of Spain. The pearl is the centerpiece of the necklace worth $11.7 million. The pearl itself is perfectly pear shaped and bright white color makes it more valuable. The rest of the necklace is made of a floral pattern of pearls with a ruby in the center of each repeat. Richard Burton purchased it in 1969 for $37,000 for his wife but it sold for $11.7 million in 2011.
10. The Beauty of The Ocean pearl worth $139 million. It weighs 6 tons and is 5 feet tall but it is a man made pearl. It is made out of fluorite that was ground into the pearl shape over a 3 year period. It is said to glow in the dark and came from Mongolia.
I'm not sure why the last one made the list other than its shape and uniqueness. Some of these are quite impressive. Enjoy reading.