The Book of Pearls Author:Joan Younger Dickinson Their History and Romance from Antiquity to Modern Times — Ever since pearls were cherished as the most precious of the gifts of the gods some 3500 years before the birth of Christ, they have possessed an aura of mystery and mystique. In ancient and medieval history, pearls were religious symbols of purity, harmony, humility, and the gift of lif... more »e, and were endowed with great magical and medicinal properties. As gems of rare beauty, they have been the favorites of royalty in courts all over the world. Today pearls are not only the gems of romance and the poignancy of love, rich in meaning and sentiment, but are still used in medicine.
Dickinson relates the whole story of pearls, from their role in the shell cult of antiquity and the early pearl fisheries of the Persian Gulf to the development in Japan of the cultured pearl of today.
This book is much more than a history of pearls and pearling; it is also a practical guide for anyone who owns or plans to buy pearls. It tells you how pearls can be evaluated for size, shape, luster, iridescence, flawlessness, and color; and how to choose pearls for fashion and sentiment. It is illustrated with many old engravings of pearl fisheries, photographs of museum paintings, pearl antiquities, and exquisite jewelers' offerings.« less