Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought.
In Persian mythology, they are called “the tears of the gods.”
In India, warriors encrusted their swords with pearls to symbolize the tears and
sorrow that a sword brings.
The ancient Greeks thought pearls were dew from the moon collected by oysters
that opened their shells as they floated on the sea at night.
The pearl was the favored gem of the wealthy during the time of the Roman Empire
and Roman women wore pearls to bed so they could be reminded of their wealth
immediately upon awakening.
Pearls were once considered an exclusive privilege for royalty. A law of 1612
drawn up by the Duke of Saxony prohibited the wearing of pearls by nobility,
professors, doctors or their wives.
Pearls were also widely used as medicine in Europe until the 17th century. Arabs
and Persians believed it was a cure for various kinds of diseases.
Pearls have also been used as medicine as early as 2000 BC in China, where it
was believed to represent wealth, power and longevity. Even to this day,
lowest-grade pearls are ground for use as medicine in the Orient.