When did you last have a dinner Cleopatra style? I'm not talking about nightingale tongues or whatever extravagant meals we think were served there. I'm talking big money.
You remember the story? According to Pliny the Elder Cleopatra bets Mark Antony she could serve the most expensive single meal - 10,000,000 sesterces worth. Mark Antony can't imagine that that is possible, but Cleopatra just drops one of her enormous pearls in a glass of vinegar and drinks it.
Do pearls dissolve in vinegar? Obviously they do, scientists, pearl dealers and ordinary people have tried it out in various combinations. They don't do it quickly, though. I'll leave it to you if you want to believe the story of the Queen's extravagancy, look up articles or videos about it or even try it yourself.
The first time I read about this was in a Scrooge McDuck story. Scrooge put 1,000 pearls into 1,000 cans of pickles for a giveaway to raise interest in his pickles, those cans never made into the stores, though. When he opened them up to get his pearls back out, they had all gone, a just punishment for trying such a dirty trick.
That's not the only story about Scrooge and pearls. I remember his search for rare black pearls, for example. This is a nice bridge to this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge which is all about pearls that are not white.
Although there are natural pearls that aren't white, most of the colored pearls are dyed or glass pearls in the first place, and there are huge differences in luster and quality.
Here's a selection of jewelry with pearls from our JAC artisans. Be prepared for color!
1 Ganison Atelier
3 Bijou Bead Boutique
5 MC Stoneworks
6 Cat's Wire
7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
8 The Crafty Chimp