5,200 Years Ago

Earliest known use of mother-of-pearl in jewelry is recorded in Egypt, where it was used to make beads and cartouches.

4,000 Years Ago

Chinese historical texts begin mentioning pearls. Specifically, freshwater pearls were mentioned to have been found in the river Hwai. They were described as “not quite round”.

3,000 Years Ago

Earliest mention of pearls in India, specifically in the Rigveda the oldest of the Vidas.

2,550 Years Ago

In Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka, a King is recorded sending pearls to his father in law in India.

2,500 Years Ago

The Atharaveda in India mentions a pearl necklace used as a Talisman in India. It describes a necklace which would have been made of 9-11mm pearls. Quite an exquisite Pearl Necklaces today, let alone at that time.

2,500 Years Ago

Persia was a major source of pearls for Greece. A pearl necklace from Greece, made of natural pearls and gold 2,300 years ago, was on display 100 years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

2,400 Years Ago

Oldest known pearl necklace still in existence comes from a Queen’s tomb in Ancient Persia. This pearl necklace has 3 rows of 72 pearls each and is known as the Susa necklace.

1,400 Years Ago

Filipinos are described selling Chinese pearls in ancient Chinese documents.

17th through 19th century

European royalty regularly wore pearl jewelry in every possible way. In the 19th century when pictures were becoming more popular, examples of pearl jewelry can be found constantly among the wealthy. At the end of the 19th century, the ancient pearl trade ended. Natural pearls would no longer being traded and sold as they used to, and not long afterwards, the cultured pearl market emerged.