Pearl: Nature's Perfect Gem
This book is a beautifully illustrated account of pearls through millennia, from fossils to contemporary jewelry. Pearls are the most human of gems, both miraculous and familiar. Uniquely organic in origin, they are as intimate as our bodies, created through the same process as we grow bones and teeth. They have long been described as an animal’s sacrifice, but until recently their retrieval often entailed the sacrifices of enslaved and indentured divers and laborers. While the shimmer of the pearl has enticed Roman noblewomen, Mughal princes, Hollywood royalty, mavericks, and renegades, encoded in its surface is a history of human endeavor, abuse, and aspiration—pain locked in the layers of a gleaming gem.