Pearls Before Swine

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ancient-pearl-earringThe Ancient Natural Pearl Earring Found in Old Jerusalem

It's in the Bible!  'Cast Not Your Pearls Before Swine' - the proverb, written by King Solomon,  back in the 10th century  reveals two very important but overlooked  historical facts about Natural Pearls:

  1. Natural Pearls were in circulation during the Greco-Roman Period
  2. Natural Pearls in the Greco-Roman Period were highly valued

The antiquities authority in Israel state that archeologists have excavated a gold PEARL earring beneath a parking lot next to the walls of Jerusalem's old city. (Chareston Daily Mail, Thursday, November 27, 2008).

The excavated ancient Pearl earring, you can see in the  image  at the top of the page,  is the hard evidence!

The earring was discovered during an excavation of the ruins of a building from the Byzantine period, dating from between the 1st-4th century, A.D.

The authorities also say, the earring is inlaid with NATURAL PEARLS and emeralds and would have been made between the first century B.C. and the beginning of the fourth century A.D!

Archaeology now supports the truth of the old adage,  along with the ancient historian - Pliny, in that in Old Jerusalem, long before seventeenth-century Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer's brush-stroke ever touched the canvas of 'Girl With The Pearl Earring' - that earrings set with Natural Pearls were being worn (by at least one girl) in Jerusalem 2 000 years ago.

Evidence of Natural Pearls in circulation is not of stones or bones but courtesy of Pearl Jewelry! 

The "Cast Not Your Pearls Before Swine" statement  would have been well received by the Roman ladies of the time, who loved wearing extravagant jewelry. However, pagans and Christians were united in their condemnation of the love of luxury exhibited by the Roman ladies.

The Historian, Pliny further tells us, Lollia Paulina, Caligula's wife, at an "ordinary" function, wore emeralds and pearls on her head, hair, ears, neck, arms, and fingers! Pliny further states, that women, wore, two or three Pearls in their ears so that they "rattled". What?!

Natural Pearls were highly esteemed in the Holy Land, even back in Ancient Jerusalem, and we have the proverb "Cast Not Your Pearls Before Swine" to back up this Pearl of wisdom ;-) that proves conclusively that Natural Pearls,  not only were in circulation in the Holy Land 2000 years ago, but they were "rattling" from ladies ear lobes!

Another fascinating ancient fairy-tale jewelry find from Austria can be found Here...

It's hard to imagine that any type of Pearl, especially a Natural Pearl, which is all nacre, no bead nucleation inside, could survive this long, but archaeology proves that Natural Pearls of lasting quality, can indeed survive over this great time-span.

This ancient gold Pearl earring was reported to be around 2,000-years old! The authorities said the Pearl earring was "astonishingly well-preserved." The earring appears to have been crafted using a technique similar to that depicted in portraits from the Greco-Roman period in Ancient Egypt.

So there you have it, from the Bible and archaeology, once upon a time in Jerusalem, a Hebrew girl actually wore a Natural Pearl ear-ring,  thousands of years before a brushstroke ever touched the canvas of the Dutch Mona Lisa - the name they call the girl in the monumental painting - 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'. Ain't that something!

King Solomon was referring to Natural Pearls in Proverb 
'Cast Not Your Pearls Before Swine'

Natural Pearls from the Persian Gulf Pearls is most likley where the Pearl in the earring was born.  Click Here to purchase a strand of Natural Persian Gulf Pearls with an authentication certificate included. (They're Sold)

Very few matched strands of Natural Pearls even exist today. Those that do often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are either sold singularly as a collector's item or set as centerpieces in unique jewelry and change hands privately. 

Yachtsman and financier Cartier, won't ever be accused of casting his pearls before swine, that's for certain - he purchased the landmark Cartier store on Fifth Avenue in New York for $100 cash and a double strand of matched Natural Pearls valued at $1 million. (freely rendered from answers.com)

Wearing Gucci and driving a Mercedes may be well and good but nothing compared to owning a strand of Natural Pearls.

Natural Pearls from the Persian Gulf Pearls is where the pearl in the earring was born, recovered recently,  still available for purchase today. Click Here to purchase a strand of natural Persian Gulf pearls with an authentication certificate included.

Very few matched strands of Natural Pearls even exist today. Those that do often sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are either sold singularly as a collector's item, or set as centerpieces in unique jewelry and change hands privately. 

Yachtsman and financier Cartier, won't ever be accused of casting his pearls before swine, that's for certain - he purchased the landmark Cartier store on Fifth Avenue in New York for $100 cash and a double strand of matched Natural Pearls valued at $1 million. (freely rendered from answers.com)


From Old Information on Pearls, we know, that the best quality Pearls are found in the Persian Gulf - most probably the 2,000-year-old Pearl earring, the archaeologists unearthed in Jerusalem, November 2008, was a Persian/Arabian Gulf Pearl.

Reference:

Higgins, R., Greek & Roman Jewellery, University of California Press, Berkley & Los Angeles, 1961.

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