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Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake. Photo: Maciej Kraus/Flickr

Natural pearls are a rarity today, but a hundred years ago, before British biologist William Saville-Kent first developed the technique of pearl culturing, natural pearls were found in many parts of the world and it was the only kind of pearl people wore.

For thousand of years, divers retrieved natural pearls from wild oysters in the Indian Ocean in areas such as the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Mannar. The pearl fisheries of the Persian Gulf, in particular, were the most famous and valuable in the world. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), the Chinese hunted extensively for seawater pearls in the South China Sea. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Western Hemisphere, they discovered that around the islands of Cubagua and Margarita, some 200 km north of the Venezuelan coast, was an extensive pearl bed. Pearls harvested from these beds were gifted by Philip II of Spain to his wife Mary I of England.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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