By Ron Dupuis
Organics are cropping up everywhere—in your local big box supermarket, at the neighbourhood farmer’s market, on the menu of your favourite bistro. For centuries, luxury organics—namely pearls—have been popular personal adornments for the fingers, necks, ears, and wrists of the powerful and the wealthy. It’s a fascination that continues today. Renowned museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, hold lavish exhibitions and informative lectures on these magnificent treasures with a view to their historical significance, provenance, and dollar values, too.
Pearls are a cosmopolitan commodity having origins in the waters of the Middle East, South and East Asia, the Philippine islands, South America, Mexico, off the western coast of Australia, and in the river deltas of Mississippi. Commercial pearl diving has been an international endeavour. There’s a theory the Romans invaded Britain lured by freshwater pearls from Scotland’s mussels.