Pearls get pride of place at Beijing show

By Lin Qi (China Daily)

Updated: 2016-10-18

Pearls get pride of place at Beijing show

[Photo provided to China Daily]

They are dazzling creations of nature that can't be cut or polished. For centuries, royalty and aristocrats have pursued them to demonstrate power and social rank. In modern times, they adorn an extensive population of women as an indication of fashion tastes.

Their symbolic associations vary from East to West, implying either seductiveness or purity, best wishes for a marriage or grief over someone's death.

Pearls, boasting a smooth luster, enjoy a global fascination that transcends time and cultures. But a lot of people know very little about how the beads are formed, fished and farmed, and that they come in a variety of colors and shapes.

The mystery surrounding the gem is explained at an ongoing exhibition, Pearls: Treasures from the Seas and the Rivers, at the National Museum of China in Beijing.

It includes antique cabinets, around 130 loose pearls, jewelry and other decorative objects comprising pearls matched with gold, precious stones and diamonds.

The exhibits are all from the Qatar Museums, the Doha-based official cultural body that manages all the museums in the country.

The exhibition is one of the highlights of the Qatar China 2016 Year of Culture, which includes several exhibitions in both countries.

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