How Bahrain hopes to revive its natural pearl industry
Basra Pearls from Bahrain (photo by Kari)
An island kingdom just off the Arabian Peninsula, known as the first emirate nation to discover oil in 1932, wants to re-establish itself as the global center for sustainable pearls.
Natural pearls are one of the most sustainable and ethical luxury gems, both conflict-free and climate-friendly. With pearl beds bigger than Manhattan, Bahrain is looking to revive its traditional pearl industry -- once the backbone of the country's economy.
According to Mattar, Bahrain has a reputation as the "Mecca of Pearling." In 2012 UNESCO declared the Bahraini pearl beds a World Heritage site, calling the region the "last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy."
But Scarratt says he has seen interest in natural pearls rematerialize over the past decade. "There's a growing segment of the market that looks out for what is rare. That segment of the market is looking for natural pearls," he explains.
Scarratt says most of the pearls found in Bahrain are "seed pearls," small pearls used in intricate jewelry designs and high fashion garments. "They have a particularly nice appearance," he adds.
Read entire article here: https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/04/middleeast/bahrain-natural-pearls-industry-spc-intl/index.html