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Hyderabad pearls in different shades

Pearls are one of the most beautiful gemstones. Their white sheen undoubtedly bears the mark of purity and adorn the wearer with an added charm. Pearls come in a range of colours, from black to pure white, some shades being pinkish, or even bluish. Hyderabad, the southern city of India is often hailed as the 'City of Pearls'. Many people visit Hyderabad each year to get their hands on the beautiful pearl jewellery that is made here.

When the world's best pearls conglomerated in one place, Hyderabad became famous for being the pearl hub of the world. This is how it began its trade. A pearl artist working on a design Image credit: Wikimedia Commons



The Nizams of Hyderabad were extremely fond of pearls. They often gifted their wives, the Begums, elaborate strands of pure white pearls. During their reign, they ordered the pearls from various parts of the globe to be brought to their abode. Most of their pearls came from the Arabian Gulf which has the most exquisite type of this gemstone. When the world's best pearls conglomerated in one place, Hyderabad became famous for being the pearl hub of the world. This is how it began its trade.

Today, Hyderabad has kept up the name it was given by the Nizams. The pearls of Hyderabad invariably adorn most brides across India. Hyderabad pearls are often known as cultured pearls because of the treatment they undergo to become the impeccable jewels they are. Various shades of pearls are collected and graded according to size and type. Some of them are bleached if they are too dark. They are placed in hydrogen peroxide for a few days and then exposed to the sun. After this, they are washed, and graded again based on their lustre and sheen.

Hyderabad is famous for its Satlada and Paanchlada, which is seven string and five string respectively. The pearls are strung into long lines and wound into neckpieces. This satlada has nearly 465 pearls in it Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


The pearls are then set into jewellery. Hyderabad is famous for its Satlada and Paanchlada, which is seven string and five string respectively. The pearls are strung into long lines and wound into neckpieces. Some of them are set with exquisite gemstones into bangles, earrings, and chains. The most expensive variety is called 'Basra'. The 'rice-pearl' is a unique kind of pearl found in South India. The most famous part of Hyderabad where these pearls are cultured is a place called Chandapet.

Keywords: Pearls, Jewellery, Gemstones, Hyderabad, Nizams of Hyderabad, Purity of gemstones.


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