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Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A round, luminescent pearl is the simplest and most perfect gem. Columbus sought—and found—this precious jewel coveted by his Spanish sovereigns, sparking popularity throughout Europe. Fashion icons Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Grace, and Michelle Obama cherished them, making them iconic. And designer Coco Chanel raised them to new heights, bringing pearls— fake and real— ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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Masyhur Hilmy
Dec 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I would have been able to finish this book if it wasn't for the fact that I was confined in a bus that got stuck in a massive traffic jam for 27 hours going from Denpasar to Surabaya, had no other source of entertainment (phone battery tapped out), and had no other reading materials (it was the only book I brought with me).

Of course, you don't really need to know how I finished this book, but subjecting you to that information despite having no relevance whatsoever with the
...more
Rob
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to buy pearls. After a day or two, I said, "forget it". Bloom wrote an interesting book on pearls, some history, but more time was spent on modern pearl harvesting and trade.
Lexi Martin
Tears of mermaids: The secret story of pearls written by Stephan G. bloom is a nonfiction story the author tells about his fascination with pearls. I've always known that pearls were beautiful, but Bloom creates a story exquisitely describing the pure beauty and elegance a pearl creates. Throughout the story the author himself visits different places of the world to explore different pearl farming industries while immersing himself into his studies and experiencing different cultural behavior ...more
Nikki VanRy
Pretty good book with lots of interesting material about pearls but annoyed when author kept mentioning how he really wanted to get to know the first-line producers of pearls and see what their lives were like, yet only spent two chapters doing so. Most of the book is about how much money pearls bring to the dealers and company heads.
Bee
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really well thought out journey of how a pearl starts to the finish of being handed to a consumer. I thought it would get dry, but Bloom has a way of creating excitement throughout that leaves you wanting to finish. Very educational!
Kathy
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that examines the various paths that pearls take from cultivation to sale. It mostly focuses on the present although there is some information presented about historical trade.
Maureen M
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, non-fiction
A fascinating tale of how pearls get from their shells into the settings that find some auctioned off for millions. Bloom may have set out to highlight the contradiction between the poverty of the workers closest to the source and the wealth of the ultimate consumers, but the story becomes much richer (pardon the expression) as he travels the world and meets the colorful characters who make up the pearl industry.
Cameron Toney
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Tears of Mermaids. Pearls are my favorite "stone", and I was interested in what could be said about them.
This book is full of information, without being unreadably dense or technical. Its really more the story of the industry of pearls, rather than the stones themselves, but it surprised me with an emotional chapter about the almost spiritual connection that people have with these beautiful adornments.
Informative and interesting. I enjoyed it.
Sarah
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the insight into the pearl industry was interesting, I was most fascinated with the history of pearls during the golden age of exploration, so I'd have much preferred more in that. plus the author repeatedly talked about pearls hanging in women's cleavage, which I found really creepy as well as deterrent to the particular moment of the narrative.
Margaret Sankey
The social history of pearls--from ancient theories, pirate treasure, the physiology of pearl divers, heavily guarded pearl farms in the Philippines, high stakes Hong Kong auctions, the legal system of Bahrain, political stylists (the wronged wives seem compelled to wear pearls at the press conference), chain jewelry stores and marketing meetings.
Renee
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Who knew that Pearls could be so interesting? I really enjoyed this jaunt through the world of gemologists, and specifically the world of pearl growers, sellers and buyers. This is a fun book with lots of history tucked throughout.
Robin
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tried to read this, but there was just too much information on the pearls, and the people who collected and sold them, I would have liked to just read about the pearls, but the author had to add the local interest.
Jessica
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got a degree in jewelry/metals so when I found this book I had to read it. I found it fascinating. My love and admiration for pearls grew stronger through this book.
Mimi Ford
Would have been a better read without all of the grammatical errors. That really makes or breaks a book for me.
Cassi
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Kathy
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting topic but a dry read.
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Karen Crawford
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I teach narrative journalism at the University of Iowa. I'm the author of The Audacity of Inez Burns: Dreams, Desire, Treachery & Ruin in the City of Gold (Regan Arts, 2018); Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls (St. Martin's Press, 2011); The Oxford Project [with photographer Peter Feldstein] (Welcome Books, 2010); Inside the Writer's Mind (Wiley, 2002); and Postville: A Clash of ...more