Bahrain Pearls (photo by Kari)
It's 8.30am and Bahrain's gentle winter sun plays on the water as our boat pulls away from the jetty. Our hopes are high for a good catch: not of fish, but of oysters. And not just any old oysters but those with pearls in them.
Bahraini pearls are widely believed to be the best in the world. Many people put their trademark lustre down to the sea's freshwater springs that give the island kingdom its name: Bahrain means "two seas" in Arabic. Some also maintain that the shallow water at the pearl banks plays a role, along with the warmth of the water and its salinity.
Whatever the reason, Bahrain's precious pearls have been coveted for millennia. An Assyrian inscription from around 2000BC mentions "fish eyes" from Dilmun, an ancient civilisation of which Bahrain was capital. Tylos, the classical name for Bahrain, was said by Pliny to be "famous for the vast number of its pearls". More details and photos about Bahrain pearls.
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