I love pearls and have always admired the sheer simplicity of it’s beauty. I have several pair of South Asian pearl earrings, it’s elegance is classic.
I found out very young that this simple piece of jewelry has a catch. In my country, it is a common superstition that giving someone pearls as gifts is bad luck.
The explanation? A lot of the designs of pearl earrings or single-pearl necklace are tear-shape. If you give someone pearls, it’s as if you are giving them the gift of sadness and a lot of tears. So, never give a Filipina a set of pearls.
Like any superstition, there is a way to cancel the bad luck. You can “buy” the pearl from the giver by giving the person money, no matter how small the amount is. This way, the pearl was never given for free but was bought, canceling the bad luck.
It is kind of a weird superstition, but I don’t wish anyone ill. I have never been a big superstition fan, I always take the “there’s no scientific explanation for that” card. So, one time, on my mom’s birthday, I gave her a set of pearls. Of course she wouldn’t accept it until I accepted the money she gave me!
So now, I’m actually taking this superstition seriously. A side note, I told my Ukrainian boss about this superstition when she asked me about my pearl earrings, apparently, in Ukraine, pearls are only worn by married women. She said it symbolizes the status of the woman and there’s also a story behind it that we failed to discuss.
How about you? Have you heard about the curse of the pearl? What are other interesting superstitions that you know?