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World’s Oldest Pearl Found in UAE

By Raymondleejewelers @raymondleejwlrs

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Space ship-like buildings rise from parched lands that man has harvested from the sea in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, where visitors explore dry river valleys and ski a vast outdoor desert and an indoor snow resort.

Umm al Quwain is quieter and lesser known than seemingly larger than life Dubai where these activities are offered. But it now holds a record on par with Dubai’s world’s tallest manmade structure (Burj Khalifa), its most luxurious hotel (Burj Al Arab) and its largest artificial islands (the Palm Islands).

Researchers in Umm al Quwain have discovered the world’s oldest natural pearl.

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via Emirates 24/7

“Gemologists and jewellers have popularised the idea that the oldest pearl in the world is the 5000-year-old Jomon pearl from Japan,” an entry in the journal Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy reads. “Discoveries made on the shores of south-eastern Arabia show this to be untrue.”

The 7,500-year-old Arabian pearl is believed to have originated between 5547 and 5235 BC, or the New Stone Age – a time when humans had evolved from hunter-gatherers to farmers, an article in Gulf News noted. It measures .07 inches (1.78 mm) in diameter and is one of more than 100 New Stone Age-era pearls found over the years as part of archaeological searches, according to reports.

The world’s best pearls have been known from the Persian Gulf, where breath-hold divers once collected them, according to the Cultured Pearl Association of America. The industry ended swiftly in the 1930s, when oil was discovered, water pollution resulted and oysters were over-fished, the association notes. The people of Kuwait and Qatar are said to celebrate the area’s history of pearl diving as part of cultural weeks and festivals.

The emirate pearls that have been found hail from the oysters Pinctada margaritifera and Pinctada radiata, the journal article notes. Where Pinctada margaritifera is a black-lipped Indo-Pacific oyster known to produce the best pearls, Pinctada radiata with its hinged teeth is a common pearl producer and one known for small to medium sized pearls like the one found in Umm al Quwain.

Michelle for Raymond Lee Jewelers, your source for jewelry industry news.

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