We've all heard the old saying that wearing pearls on your wedding day will bring tears later on in the marriage, but if you don't believe in those old superstitions, then you'll be interested to explore the history of pearls. Before they were worn in weddings, or even used in jewelry, they were natural, beautiful pieces that have been coveted for centuries.
Pearls are officially the world's oldest gem, and have been revered for years. Because of this, there isn't one person that discovered pearls, but instead we know that they have been worn as an accessory from as early as 420 BC by a Persian princess. Before that, they were given as gifts to royalty as early as 2300 BC, and they were often considered a status symbol. If you were wealthy and/or royal, odds are that you had some pearls in your possession. From carrying importance in different cultures to being a source of wealth, there is a long and storied history of pearls, long before they were used in jewelry as often as they are now.
Until more recent times, pearls were naturally found in the water from oysters, and are unique in the sense that pearls are created from living organisms. In the past, divers had to go retrieve these precious gems from the oysters, which could mean a risky dive, and not one that would guarantee any success, as not every oyster produces a pearl. Of course, there were other oysters that were easier to access, but those were generally reserved for the royal families to harvest. Now, natural pearls are extremely rare and difficult to find, as the supply is almost entirely depleted. However, with technological innovations, and the changing of the times, cultured pearls now exist, and were originally made by Kokichi Mikimoto in 1893. He manually put an irritant inside an oyster to make it form a pearl. This idea revolutionized the industry, and by 1935, there were pearl farms that were created to follow this method and create cultured pearls.
What you will generally find in jewelry pieces are cultured pearls, which can be colored, and just as beautiful as their natural counterparts. Just because the method of finding them changed doesn't make it any less amazing that a living creature creates these beautiful stones. There is also now no longer a shortage, ensuring that you can find a beautiful piece for your upcoming event.