Today, natural pearls are mainly found in estate sales and auctions. Being very rare, there are not many examples of natural pearl jewelry left in the world. However, some natural pearl beds are being harvested in the Persian Gulf area, as well as some freshwater sites in the United States. In the end, though, the increasingly popular cultured pearl will be the main source of pearl jewelry around the world due to its lower cost and abundance.
Some people today go to great lengths to dive for the perfect natural pearl. Putting themselves in danger due to sharks, poisonous jellyfish, etc., these divers have something of a taste for adventure. Many cultures used slaves to harvest these precious gems throughout history, thus keeping the wealthy safe and dry. Due to the obvious dangers of diving for natural pearls, and the increasing ease to acquire quality cultured pearls, the natural pearl market is becoming extinct. Beautiful cultured pearl necklaces are tough to beat in any jewelry market.