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Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: La Peregrina

Famous Gems and Beaded Jewelry: La Peregrina

In the mid-1500s, an African slave working in the Gulf of Panama found the largest, most lustrous pearl ever discovered. The administrator of the Spanish colony in Panama took the pearl, but rewarded the slave with freedom.The pearl was given to Philip II of Spain, who gave it to his fiancé Mary Tudor of England. Mary wore the pearl as beaded jewelry, in a brooch. We still have a painting of her looking stern and royal, but well decked out in her gowns and beaded jewelry.Mary died in 1558, and the pearl went back to Spain.