Mrs Khurana’s black-pearl necklace (that she has been flaunting tirelessly over the years), Ruchika’s milky-white tear-drop pearl earrings (her first anniversary gift), Rohan’s large silver pearl finger ring (astrologer-advised) have more than the obvious—the pearl factor—in common. These neighbors-envy pieces were all bought from the City of Pearls, Hyderabad!
Hyderabad has pearls to go with every occasion, every budget, and every taste. But when it comes to shopping pearls, a fat wallet isn’t enough, or you might just come back with pearl look-a-like glass beads soaked in fish scales!
Quick tips for pearl shopping
- Look and Feel: It’s very important you know how a genuine pearl looks and feels like. The smoother the surface, rounder the shape, and clearer your reflection on the pearl, the better is the quality and higher the price. Of all colors, ivory pearls are the most popular. Don’t get daunted by unfamiliar jargon thrown by the shopkeeper. “Under UV light quality” only means: sky-blue sheen for white pearls, green sheen for black pearls and rainbow sheen for baroque (irregular-shaped) pearls. So go with a seasoned-shopper’s confidence.
- Teeth-Test: Rub your pearl against your teeth, real ones will feel gritty while fake ones will glide across.
- Natural vs Cultured: It is only a myth that cultured (man-interfered pearl production by oyster) pearls are unreal. A pearl is oyster borne, cultured or natural!
- Bargain: Time to put your bargaining prowess to test! A 30 per cent discount can come easy, but availing a 50 per cent discount is where the challenge lies.
Where to buy:
Almost every other jewellery shop in Hyderabad is likely to shelf pearls, but the area near Charminar—Pathergatti and Laad Bazaar—has the best bets. Some popular shops are: Mangatrai Pearls and Jewellers (Punjagutta, Patharghatti, Basheerbagh), Meena Jewellers (Ameerpet, Basheerbagh), Bhagwati’s Pearls and Jewellers (Patharghatti), Krishna Pearls and Jewellers (Taj Krishna, ITC Kakatiya Sheraton, Taj Banjara ), Sri Jagdamba Pearls and Gold (Secunderabad), Vithaldas & Co Jewellers (Charminar, Somajiguda).
After you buy them, don’t forget to pamper your pearls: pouch them separately for they scratch easily. Humidity, chemicals, even perfumes are pearl unfriendly.
So, the next time you bump into Mrs Khurana, Ruchika or Rohan, you have more to tell than just admire their stunning pearls. Better still, flaunt your own “oyster wonders”.