There are superb mythological stories of the origins of Pearls having been created by mankind at the supposed Golden Age of Lemuria, where mankind was able to create inanimate (not living) and animate (living) objects and 'things'.
The Oyster was supposedly created by mankind at this time, specifically to produce pearls to be worn by people of the age: they were to have healing, calming and medicinal properties; and exquisite beauty when worn as Jewels.
Pearls have been appreciated for centuries by mankind, and have been worn as Jewellery by Royalty over the centuries. Besides their elegance, and opulence, they were also worn for status. There are cultural connotations and superstitions when pearls are to be worn: Pearls are worn at weddings for certain cultures, and funerals of other cultures.
They have been farmed commercially for the last 60 to 70 years, in bays of Japan, and then China, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
Australian producers are fanatical about maintaining the highest level of water quality, and protecting the ecology of all the bays where the pearls are farmed. In some countries the practice of fishing using cyanide 'bombs' to stun fish is used. This method is primitive and disastrous to the natural habitats where the pearls are harvested and farmed.
Australia produces the bulk of the worlds South Sea Pearls by 'value', proof that our qualities are the highest. Our farming methods have become quite sophisticated. Some of the major farms use marine biologists, to continually try to improve farming methods, and the selection of which oysters are best for grafting, to produce the best qualities and colours in the pearls.
Hundreds of men and women have perished diving for shell over the history of Pearl Farming, with the ever increasing values of pearls. Although modern day safety measures are stringent, especially in Australia, the pressure on the divers to collect as many oysters as possible, is extremely demanding on the divers, and still have its fair share of dangers.