Fri, Jul 17th 2009, 10:25
Pearls have captivated human beings since ancient times. The revolution in aquaculture at the start of the twentieth century meant that pearls became more accessible.
The ancients revered pearls for their iridescence reminiscent of the moon. For them pearls symbolised purity and magical powers. Natural pearls have also been incredibly rare, so throughout time they have been worn by the nobility, a symbol of their wealth and power.
By the end of the 1900s, natural pearls were nearly extinct due to overfishing and pollution in the traditional pearl areas. The popularity of pearls meant that by the early 20th century, the process of creating cultured pearls was discovered.
This meant that pearl farmers could cultivate thousands of pearls in a predictable manner. Now pearls were available to more people and pearl farming became a lucrative industry for coastal people in many parts of the world.