Revealing the Meaning of Pearl Symbolism

Pearl Symbolism
Pearls are known to symbolize wisdom, but they also represent purity, calmness, loyalty, serenity, and integrity. 

Pearls are the only gem that comes from animals, and they’re widely accepted and used by different cultures worldwide. The glistening sphere is not only a piece of jewelry but carries legends and myths with it. 

Besides attracting good luck and faith, there’s a common belief that the pearl symbolizes the wisdom you obtain through experience. They’re also popular for the calming effect they produce. Some also believe pearls balance your karma.

pearl symbolism
Pearls are seen as a symbol of wisdom and purity.

What Do Pearls Symbolize?

Apart from manifesting wisdom, pearls symbolize purity, calmness, loyalty, serenity, and integrity. Though the most commonly seen pearl is white, there are different shades of pearls. This happens due to the mollusk and the geographic location in which it’s found. 

Old legends disclose that pearls were considered to be the solidified tears of mermaids. According to the astrological association, the pearl is connected with the plan Venus.

While some legends acknowledge that pearls are tears shed by the pagan gods, some believe that pearls solidified the tears of Eve when she was banished from Eden. 

Colored Pearls Symbolism

Colored pearls also add another layer of symbolism. The white pearls symbolize innocence and purity, while pink pearls symbolize romance and love. The black pearl symbolizes excellent protection and the yellow pearl symbolizes creativity and optimism.

pearl symbolism
The black pearl is a symbol for protection.

Pearl Necklace Symbolism

Pearl necklaces are seen as sophisticated and classy in both casual and formal settings. Women of all ages can wear pearls to feel powerful or confident. These are sometimes referred to as power pearls.

The Moon, Water, and Pearl Symbolism

Many cultures have associated pearls with the moon. The shape and luster of pearls are similar to the moon. Though freshwater pearls are found in various beautiful shapes, saltwater pearls have a standard form. They are white and vividly evoke the image of the moon. 

Vedic scriptures also link the moon with pearls. It is believed that pearls are born from heaven’s power and Earth’s water and fertilized by flashing light. So, pearls are often called daughters of the moon. 

Pearl Symbolism in Egypt, Japan, Persia

Pearls are associated with many other myths and folklore. While some are far-fetched, some portray the gem’s importance in ancient civilizations.

Japanese Legend

In Japan it was once believed that pearls were created from tears of mythical creatures like angels, nymphs, and mermaids.

Persian Legend

A Persian legend says that pearls symbolize communion between the Earth and the sky through a rainbow. Legends confirm that a rainbow met the Earth, and there was thunder and lightning from which the pearls were born. 

However, these pearls’ imperfections are often related to thunder and lightning. 

Egyptian Legend

There is an Egyptian legend that politicizes the power of a pearl. It’s said that Cleopatra drank the gem from one of her pearl earrings. It was an act to show Mark Antony, a Roman politician, that a person can devour the whole nation’s wealth in a gulp. 

Egyptians are buried with gems and precious stones, showing that a pearl is heavenly and worthy in the afterlife. 

Pearls and Brides

Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were tears of God, and thus if a woman wore them during her marriage, it would prevent her from crying. 

Hindu folklore tells something different. It’s believed that pearls were dew drops from the sky that had fallen on a moonlit night.

However, a legend about Krishna supports that the pearl had a great role in marriage. Legends say that Krishna had drawn the first pearl from the ocean and gifted it to his daughter Pandaria at her wedding. Wearing a pearl represents love, union, and purity in marriage. 

White pearls are considered a precious gift for a girl in marriage. It not only signifies a good omen but also stresses the symbol of fertility. Many Asian brides wear pearls to their weddings. 

Pearls and Chinese Dragons

Chinese myths also talk about pearls. According to Chinese folklore, pearls dropped from the sky when the dragons fought between themselves in the clouds.

However, another Chinese version tells us that pearls came to being when oysters swallowed the raindrops. The famous Chinese legend completely differs from the other two and tells a miraculous story. 

According to this legend, a boy had found a pearl and stored it in a rice jar. The following day he discovered that the jar was filled with rice. This miraculous event enticed the villagers, and everyone wanted to steal that pearl from the boy. However, no one was successful, as the boy consumed the pearl and became a dragon. 

What Does a Pearl Symbolize in a Relationship?

Pearls are thought to symbolize the stages of life, fertility, and purity within a relationship. However, this is only considered to be true if the pearl is given from a place of true love.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out our post about the symoblism of doves.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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