Last week team Zaman was invited to a workshop to learn about the pearling industry by Australian pearling company Paspaley at their UAE flagship store in The Dubai Mall. Pearls have long since had the favour of both men & women as being highly prized accessories – from Ancient Rome, China, India & Greece to the Persian Gulf for more than 4000 years. Referred to as one of the world’s oldest gems, on many occasion they have played a starring role in romance, wars and religion, representing a rich history full of symbolism across many different cultures and regions.

Ofcourse, here in the Gulf, it is common knowledge that the UAE has a long pearling heritage, the details of which have been covered in many publications. Our workshop, which was scheduled for 45mins but ended up being 1.5hrs (we were that hooked!), was facilitated by the General Manager for Paspaley UAE, Stephen Francis. During our session Stephen was kind enough to burst a few popular misconceptions on what constitutes a “perfect” pearl and the key attributes by which pearls are graded which include: luster, shape, surface (tiny marks are actually part of the pearl’s natural texture), colour, size and weight.

Many thanks to Stephen and the rest of the Paspaley team for an insightful afternoon.