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Pearls are the first gems known to mankind and are formed without human interference. It is mentioned in 6 verses in the Holy Qura'an, as well as referred to in the Torah and the Bible.

Pearls are valued based on

• Colour • Shape • Quality • Luster • Shade • Weight


Pearls are made up of a compound of calcium carbonate, water and organic matter formed by the mollusk inside the oyster. Recent scientific studies suggest that parasites that enter the oyster stimulate the secretion of a pearly white substance by the mollusk to seal the inflammation caused by this parasite, and then encircles it to reduce the dramatic effect of having it within the oyster. Thus forming a precious pearl.

Pearling in Bahrain

Dr. Tariq Al Hamadani, in his book Bahrain in the Writings of European Travelers (1507 - 1914 AD), notes Samuel Zwemer’s assertion that “If Egypt is the gift of Nile, then Bahrain would be the gift of pearls, because nothing defines its ancient history or its modern significance as much as the trade of pearls.”

Bahrain was historically admired for its enchanting pearl collection, a luxury proudly associated and protected by well-known Bahraini families that mastered the trade over the years.

The reason behind that is each necklace produced in Bahrain is subject to a set of criteria that ensures a specific degree of gloss, uniform color, as well as a clear and sequential graduation in size, unmatched by what is produced in other countries.

Pearling Trip

At the start of the pearling season, a quest that lasts for four months and ten days, divers prepare to embark on the pearling trip “Rakbah, the onset of the pearl quest, while surrounded by the abundance of warmth from their family and friends.

Their hope is to find the rarest of treasures and to make a living for themselves and their families during the winter months. Their families wait in patience for their return, known as the Quffal, or the end of the trip.

The preparations and ceremonies of the pearling trip used to begin a month before departure, with divers and their families all taking part. On the advent of the pearling season, sailors still launch their dhows into the sea accompanied by invigorating chants…

(Listen to a pearling trip chant below in the footer)



    Probably from English (G1) (Grade One). The most superior and beautiful type of pearls with high consistency, whether circular or hemispherical called “Baten” or teardrop-shaped “Sujni”.


  • golwah

    Aesthetically the second level of excellence, which is very close in shape to “Jiwan” but not as consistent.

  • Badla

    Badla: or “Muta’aj”: a pearl that is irregular in shape.

  • Na’em

    Pearls characterized by its small size

  • Bukah

    Small not fully round pearls in different shapes and colors.and full roundness.

  • Khashra

    Pearls which lack sparkle or form and are not suitable for any use.

  • Fusoos

    Pearls conjoined to the shell, classified depending on the size and the possibility of extraction.


It is somewhat difficult to determine the precise colour of a pearl, especially considering the luster factor which has a direct effect on the color classification. The colour classification system adopted in Bahrain has 12 colours.

  • Mushayyar

    White impregnated by a beautiful touch of red color, it is so rare and expensive that a lot of dealers in this trade may have not seen it in their life time. 

  • Nabati

    Close to rock candy, and perhaps slightly darker.

  • Samawi

    Sky blue, or any color that contains a hint of a blue tone. 



  • Wardi

    White with a pink luster.

  • Senqbasi

    All colors associated with dark gray or dark purple.

  • Qallabi

    White or rock candy with a high luster, while showing the color spectrum.

  • Basali

    White but not entirely pure.

  • Ashqar

    A light yellow color.

  • Akhdar

    Can be dark or has a green overtone.

  • Zujaji

    Closer to being transparent.

  • Aswad

    Black. Seldom suitable for use as it lacks the pearly layer that is usually seen in pearls, and usually contains some cracks.

  • Abyad

    White or milky color.