Cleopatra Pearls...No Longer a Pair When She Did What?

Yes...Cleopatra pearls lost their partnership when she "drank" one of them in a wager.

Next to that "pearl of great price," mentioned by Christ, probably the most famous of all pearls were the two which Pliny records as having been worn in the ears of Cleopatra, "the singular and only jewels of the world and even nature's wonder." Pliny does not note their size, but estimates their value at sixty million sestertii."

"Cleopatra dissolved and swallowed one of these pearls in order to win a wager she had made with Antony."

"After the death of that queen the other pearl "was cut in twaine, that in memorall of that one halfe supper of theris, it should remaine unto posterite, hanging at both the eares of Venus at Rome in the temple of Pantheon." (Pliny, "Naturall Historie," London, 1601, Lib. IX,c.35) Bude estimates the value of the pearl dedicated to Venus at 250,000 escus of gold. (Bude, "De Asse," Paris, 1514).

Another famous pearl besides Cleopatra's pearls mentioned by Pliny was the one which Julius Caesar presented to Servilia, mother of Brutus, the value of which he notes as six million sestertii. (Pliny, "Historia naturalis," Lib.IX, c.35).

As recorded by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

Go to Main Famous Pearls and Collections after Cleopatra Pearls.

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