When people first started wearing pearls centuries ago, they wore them as a statement of beauty, wealth, power and exclusiveness.  The beauty hasn’t changed, but now your pearls can be a statement of compassion, inclusiveness and global consciousness.

Triple Pearl necklace
Our Triple Pearl Necklace is only $28.  Buy it here.

Pearls are the earliest known gem.  They appear in the ancient religious texts of Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism.  The oldest known pearl jewelry, a Persian Princess’ necklace from 500 BC, is displayed in the Louvre.  Legend has it that Cleopatra drank a pearl crushed to powder in her wine to show her great wealth.  The Roman general Vitellius is said to have financed his entire military campaign with the sale of a single natural pearl.

Braided Button
Buy this and other pearl bracelets here.

For centuries, only the royal and supremely wealthy could afford pearl jewelry. Rank also determined who could wear pearls, as many countries in Europe had laws designating who could and who could not wear them as accessories (royalty yes, teachers and lawyers no).

The history of faux pearls is almost just as ancient. Some of the first were made from a mixture of powdered glass, snail slime and egg white.   Eventually bead makers began incorporating the pearlescent luster of fish scales.

Barbara setOur beautiful Barbara necklace with bracelet named after first lady Barbara Bush.  Buy it here.

Then in the early 20th century, three Japanese men began perfecting the process of implanting mollusks and by 1921 the first round cultured pearls appeared on the market.  Decades later Jackie O. and her triple-strand pearl necklace would become fashion icons, followed by Princess Diana and Barbara Bush.

 Princess Diana

Since 2004, Pearls with Purpose has been offering beautiful genuine, fair trade pearl jewelry.   The history of pearls now includes humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, Cambodia and India.  We hope you will purchase pearls that serve a purpose–and know you will look beautiful, creating beautiful dignity.

Pearlologist making jewelry

Visit https://pearlswithpurpose.org/ to learn more about Creating Beautiful Dignity.