Pearls are a worldwide phenomenon going back millennia. Fascination for these jewels of the seas and rivers transcends time and borders. Natural pearls have always been objects of desire due to their rarity and lustrous beauty. Myths and legends have always surrounded them, chiefly to explain the mystery of their formation. Read more.
In the news
The recent move of the royal mummies in Cairo was a made-for-TV extravaganza
A dumpy effigy in a church in Stratford-upon-Avon has been mocked for centuries, but new research claims it’s the most accurate likeness of the playwright there is
The Syrian-born, US-based artist talks to Gabrielle Schwarz about his sculptural dioramas of cities ravaged by war – and offers a message of hope for the future