Ancient Middle Eastern cultures were perhaps the first to be fascinated with pearls as, in the Persian Gulf area, archeologists have discovered burials with human remains holding a pierced pearl in their right hand, that date back to about six thousand years ago. As great civilizations developed and trade routes expanded, pearls and mother-of-pearl shells, these pure and for a long time extremely rare natural wonders, became signifiers of wealth, social status and faith. Indeed, the pearl is the...

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