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Pearls (probably from Vulgar Latin pernula; “haunch,” “sea-mussel”) - accretions of mother-of-pearl, generally around the size of a pea and spherical or pear-shaped, that form in response to irritation in freshwater and seawater bivalves, became exceedingly popular jewelry items and status symbols for the social elites of Europe and Asia in ancient times and have remained so ever since (cf. also Crown [symbol of sovereignty]). Until the early modern period, oriental pearls from the Gulf of Persia and the coasts of southern India and Sri Lanka, harveste…

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Häberlein, Mark, “Pearls”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 09 December 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025404>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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