Tears of the Gods.
I came across this at some point and never forgot it. What a lovely romantic name for pearls.
I have 5 educational facts on pearls for you readers today:
1. Back in 55BC Caesar had drawn up a strict law in Rome that only aristocrats may wear pearls, and only Caesar could wear an all purple toga to match them. Pearls were associated with Venus, the goddess of love, and as such they were excellent chat-up material – as Caesar found to his advantage.
2. Throughout Asia and Europe, pearls were traditionally believed to ease a range of conditions, including eye diseases, fever, insomnia, dysentry, ‘female complaints’, measles and bed-wetting…
3. Mikimoto’s wife died young, but she told him she could leave without regrets because she saw him produce the first cultured pearl. He sometimes described pearls as teardrops, to reflect a loss from which he never fully recovered.
4. In 1916 the American industrialist and the French jeweller Pierre Cartier swapped an enormous beaux-arts mansion on 5th Ave Manhattan for a 128-pearl necklace, and the deal had sent pearl prices sky-rocketing.
5. The combination of a woolen sweater with a cardigan (twin-sets) had been created in America as a form of thermal underwear. By the 1950s, twin-sets were seen as smart day-wear and American women were buying them in vast quantities. When fashion editors on both sides of the Atlantic decided that the pearl necklace reinforced the demure image of the layered woolen look, the future of cultured pearls were assured. After the war, many women in Europe and America had gone out to work for the first time and many used their new buying power to purchase pearls.
Extracted from Jewels- A Secret History by Victoria Finlay.
Image above courtesy of coutureallure.com
Anyway, here is my own opera length strand of 6.5mm pearls sitting sedately on my Mokum-fabric sofa pillow. I so so love them, even if I don’t DO twin sets.