The pearl is nature's work of art, reigning as the undisputed favorite of the privileged few from the earliest of times.
The Ancient Egyptians prized pearls so dearly, they were often buried with them.
Cleopatra, in an effort to showboat her riches, once bet Marc Anthony she could consume the wealth of an entire country in one, single meal. The Queen of Egypt then removed one of her large pearl earrings, dropped it in her glass of wine — more likely thought to be vinegar — waited for the pearl to dissolve and then drank the entire glass.
In Ancient Rome, pearls were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and social standing.
The Ancient Greeks held the pearl in very high esteem for both it's unrivaled beauty and also it's association with love and marriage.
The Dark Ages found both men and women favoring pearls. Fair maidens of nobility cherished delicate pearl necklaces while gallant knights wore pearls into battle, believing the lustrous gem would protect them from harm.
During the Renaissance, the royal courts of Europe were awash with pearls. A number of European countries event went so far as to pass laws that forbade anyone other than nobility from wearing pearls.