The Symbolism of Pearls in Different Cultures

Pearls are beautiful jewelry pieces with a rich and long history that dates back to Ancient Egypt. They are the only jewelry that originates from living creatures when an irritant enters a wild oyster or freshwater mussel. People from all over the world have been wearing them for centuries because they represent wealth and sophistication. In fact, during the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar introduced a law claiming that only aristocrats could wear pearls.

People tie pearls to different myths and symbols. For instance, it is a well-known fact that brides are very fond of pearls because it is believed that they attract good fortune and prosperity. Pearls are a worldwide phenomenon that transcends time and borders. Their growing popularity is evidenced by the fact that the global pearl jewelry market is expected to reach $24.37 billion by 2030.

So, if you like wearing pearls, continue reading about some of the most famous pearls and the various cultural beliefs attached to them.

Purity and elegance

While all pearls symbolize beauty, purity, and elegance, Akoya pearls are the pinnacle of these features and are considered the forerunners of modern pearls. They originate from the pristine waters surrounding Japan and are created by the smallest pearl-making oysters. More than 100 years ago, the Japanese developed a scientific process for cultivating pearls inside the Akoya oyster, which gives them their perfect round shape and high-quality luster.

That is why these pearls are so deeply connected with Japanese culture and its people. For them, Akoya pearls represent purity, elegance, and innocence, and in the past, they were known as the white gems used as offerings to the gods. In ancient times, the Japanese considered pearls protection against danger, and fishermen used them as amulets, or Omamori.

Apart from purity and elegance, Akoya pearls also represent symbols of health and longevity. For instance, parents and grandparents give pearl necklaces to all their children and grandchildren, wishing them good health and happiness. As a result, Akoya pearls will forever remain an indispensable part of Japanese culture.

Mystery and hope

Tahitian pearls originate from the atolls of the South Pacific, more precisely, the Tuamotu Archipelago and the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. They are known for their black color, which symbolizes hope for broken-hearted people. Black Tahitian pearls are believed to serve as a cure for any illness and can eliminate all negative energy for the people wearing them.

For a long time, Tahitians saw them as symbols of mystery and exoticism, and an entire generation of powerful men and women wore them. Even today, black pearls represent strength and triumph, and Tahitians believe that they are the perfect choice for everyone who fights their everyday battles. This is why they are the perfect symbol of mystery and hope.

Prosperity and success

South Sea pearls are the main symbols of prosperity and success. They can be found in the warm waters of Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. South Sea pearls are one of the largest pearl types and have various shapes. For many centuries, people connected these pearls with prosperity and success, and they have also have been used to balance the emotions of the person who is wearing them.

The reason is that wearing pearls helps you absorb all negative energy, clears the chakras, brings back harmony, and establishes self-awareness in the body. Wearing pearls is believed to lower stress and promote feelings of well-being. Additionally, in the past, aristocrats wore them to showcase their status and wealth.

Healing benefits and good luck

Freshwater cultured pearls are almost exclusively farmed in China. The Chinese developed freshwater pearl culture technology more than 2000 years ago, and nowadays they place great value on pearls. Some of the earliest references to these pearls have been found in ancient Chinese texts. People valued them a lot because they were symbols of good fortune and success.

A lot of emperors in the past wore pearls to showcase their wealth and for good luck. More importantly, freshwater pearls are especially valuable for traditional Chinese medicine because it is believed that they help heal severe eye and skin conditions and act as a remedy for diseases such as indigestion and anxiety.

Final thoughts

Pearls are beautiful and unique jewelry pieces that people from all over the world love wearing. Each culture has different beliefs and ties pearls to some sort of symbolism. Whether it is for good luck, prosperity, or healing, pearls are valuable and astonishing pieces to wear. Whichever type you choose, you won’t make a mistake, as the benefits are all amazing.



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