Hyderabad is far away from Pearl bearing Oceans, Seas or large water bodies and yet it is called ‘The city of Pearls’. There are bigger Metros like Chennai and Mumbai and cities like Goa, Mangalore and Vishakhapatnam along the Sea coast of the country but none of these places have got this distinction.
Pearls are most sought after gift items in Hyderabad. Guests and tourists visiting Hyderabad have Pearls at the top of their shopping lists. Hyderabad has many other unique gift items to offer like Pochampally Saris, Nirmal Paintings, Pembarthi brassware, Black-metal idols/wall hangings, Bidri ware, Kondapally toys, Banjara mirror-embedded bags/clothing and bright lacquer items - bangles, earrings, ashtrays, toys but Pearls are the most popular.
One can find shops selling Pearls and Pearls jewellery everywhere in the city. Around Charminar one can find a number of shops in close proximity. At all these shops you will find loose Pearls and also Necklaces, Chokers, Rings, Earrings, Bracelets, Brooches, Pendants, Shirt studs, Tiepins and Cufflinks made from Pearls interlaced with glittering Gold.
Long long ago Diamonds were mined in the Golconda area of Hyderabad. These Diamonds were described as ‘Whiter than White’, ‘Brighter than Bright’ and ‘Like a shining clear river stream’. Some of the worlds best Diamonds like Koh-i-noor Diamond, Hope Diamond, Regent Diamond, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond and Darya-e-noor Diamond were found here. The term ‘Golconda’ is still used as a benchmark to indicate the best and ultimate quality Diamonds. The richness of the Rulers and Nobles of Hyderabad and its Diamond trade made it popular in trading all types of precious Gems and Stones procured from elsewhere. One very prominent trade route for the Diamonds was through the sea at Goa. It is from this Goa route that Hyderabad received the most popular variety of Basra Pearls. Later, Hyderabad began receiving Pearls from Sri Lanka and other places in South India. The local craftsmen learnt the art of sorting the Pearls based on various parameters and most importantly the art of drilling holes through Pearls of any size without causing any damage and turning them into beautiful jewellery. These skills passed on from generation to generation and Hyderabad’s craftsmen are still the best and charge very less for their skill and efficient work.
These are the reasons why Hyderabad is popular for Pearls and is called the ‘City of Pearls’.