Basra Pearl - The Best among the Pearls

A Real Top Jyotish Quality Basra Pearl

Pearls have forever fascinated the human eye. An organic gem made painstakingly by the living shelled mollusk over many years and found only by the discerning in the depths of waterbodies, it hold special charm with its characteristically gentle appearance. With no sharp edges, the edge is taken off from the beholder’s vision too and all that remains is a tender appreciation of this mellow miracle of nature.

The ingenious invention of Kokichi Mikimoto, who is also known as the father of the modern pearl farming gave the world of pearls a new twist. Today the markets are awash with cultured pearls so fine! It is no longer a rarity.

One could however look at it this way – Because the cultured pearls are available aplenty, the true value of natural pearls has come to the fore outlinging its rarity and value and benefits.

What are Basra Pearls?

Pearls originating from the Persian / Arabian Gulf have a legendary reputation in the world of gems. Famously known as the Basra pearls, these have enthralled many a pearl aficionados. The city of Al Basrah or Basra in modern day Iraq, was a bustling hub in the yesteryears where Pearl trade was concerned. The name that the pearls got was from the trading center and not because they originated there. These pearls are ones that have been harvested from the Persian Gulf off the coast of countries like, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates etc.

A Gulf Oyster Pearl

The main species of oyster in the Persian Gulf producing these pearls are Pinctada radiata (Gulf pearl oyster), and to a lesser extent around the species Pinctada margaritifera (Black-lip pearl oyster). However the Basra Pearl supply has dwindled greatly ever since the oil industry boom in the Arab countries.

The Basra pearls are a highly valued and treasured species. These pearls have a featured in recorded history as far back in time as 300 BC. The Basra pearls available nowadays are far and few in between. Most are characterised by irregular shape and a yellowish tint. Some have a distinctly pinkish tint too. Since most reaching the markets are from old family treasures, they are drilled pearls that have been disengaged from a strand.

Natural Basra pearls, especially undrilled ones with silvery –white color and round /spherical shape are rare and extremely precious. In Vedic astrology, there is great power attributed to the Natural pearl. And there are old timers who swear by the effects of the Basra pearl like no other, and when it is a Basra in question, the shape of the pearl almost becoems inconsequential, so long as it is THAT NATURAL BASRA pearl. So powerful and effective is the basra pearl that legends speak that just to view a real Basra pearl is extremely good fortune. These wondrous rarities have the power to do miracles.

Certification of Basra Pearl

In July 2008, the a new state-of-the-art pearl and gem testing and grading laboratory was opened in the Kingdom of Bahrain – a nation that takes special intesrest in the development of natural pearl industry. This new lab is specialised in testing and grading natural pearls to ensure they are distinct from cultured ones.

Interestingly, Bahrain is the only country in the world, which bans importing or trading in cultured pearls. Prohibitive laws were passed follwing directives from the kingdom’s leadership.The new lab is also specialised in testing and grading gems, issuing world-standard certificates that are accredited regionally and internationally.

The Gem and Pearl Testing Laboratory Certificate of two real Basra Pearls

Trade bodies have been trying to weed out the ambiguities from the pearl trade too, so that nothing else can masqurade as Basra pearls in a market where unscrouplous ones are looking to make a kill because of lack of knowledge and organised, standardized norms.

Cohesive trade movement

In the recent developments, with regard to Pearl industry and Basra pearl in particular, CIBJO’s Pearl Commission discussed the terminology used to describe different types of pearls and agreed that amendments need to be defined to increase transparency in the industry and for the public.

For example, where place names are mentioned in connection with natural pearls, it was recommended that an article governing the use of such terminology be created. For example, a “Basra Pearl” would refer specifically to a natural pearl from the Arabian Gulf.

CIBJO is the French acronym for the Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres, which translates as the International Confederation of Jewellery, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones (normally shortened to the International Jewellery Confederation).

Founded in 1926 as BIBOAH, a European organisation whose mission was to represent and advance the interests of the jewellery trade in Europe, it was reorganised in 1961 and renamed CIBJO, in 2009 it was once again reorganized and officially named “CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation”. Today CIBJO, which today has a global focus and efforts, is domiciled in Switzerland.

Epitome of Luxury

Featured below are two prized specimens of utter gandeur and luxury to give you an idea of how dear the Basra pearl was to the Royalty of yore!

The two pictures are from the treasures of the Maharaja of Baroda’s (the Gaekwad dynasty) kitty

One is a circular canopy, 1.2 meters in diameter that is studded with around 500,000 pearls. And not just any pearls, but fine Basra pearls, found naturally in the Persian Gulf. The canopy is embellished with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds too.

Bejewelled Indian canopy to be auctioned New York
At a recent auction by Sotheby’s the canopy fetched a whopping 10.3 crores.

The other image is a Pearl carpet is said to be ten and one half feet long by six feet wide, and to be made up of strings of Basra pearls, except that a border, eleven inches wide, and also center ornaments, are worked out in diamonds. According to estimates over 2.2 million Basra pearls and beads have been used to decorate the field.

In the carpet which also has other gemstones, the total estimated weight of the pearls is 30,000 carats. The designs worked in the rosettes are set with approximately 2,500 table cut and occasional rose cut diamonds, approximately 350-400 carats in total, all set in silver topped gold or possibly blackened gold; the motifs are further enhanced with foil backed rubies, emeralds and sapphires set in gold!

Baroda Pearl Carpet
An close up image of Baroda Pearl Carpet

You are free to breathe now!!

The Gemstoneuniverse Value Advantage

Natural Basra Pearl Set of 2.56 & 2.77 carats

At Gemstoneuniverse we listen to our dear patrons and try our very best to provide great value and find out rarities that makes Planetary Gem Therapy what it is- Miraculous, wonderful and magical. At your request we went extra lengths and got what you wanted. 4 Jyotish Quality natural pearls from Basra. Perfection personified, lovely round shape, blemish free surface, fully organic, certified by the Gem and Pearl testing Laboratory of Bahrain. These pearls will choose their wearers and we wait to hear about some magical experiences. Our Love for Gems and Gemology makes us undertake these adventures.