Hyderabad is calleddue to the absolute admiration and love for pearls by the Nizams, who ruled the then princely state of Hyderabad for over 200 years from the 18th century to mid-20th century. Their admiration for pearls and prosperous lifestyle attracted scores of craftsmen from distant parts of the world, especially the Arabian Gulf where the rare original pearls are found in profusion.
The Nizams demanded that these pearls be brought to India in abundance. During their glorious reign, pearls of various types were showered by them on the subjects. Hence, Hyderabad became the one-stop-destination for pearls.
Pearl jewellery has remained as an important aspect of Hyderabad's culture in India. One of nature’s most brilliant creations, Pearls are called "Queen of Jewels" with various romantic episodes in her history. Its matchless lustre and unalloyed brilliance have made it a favourite of women down the ages.
There are two kinds of pearls-real or cultured. After a pearl is made, it is separated as per the shape. The drilling is either done horizontally or vertically. This is done by highly skilled artisans. Once this is done, Pearls are graded according to the sheen, glaze, shape, size, lustre and uniformity.
Different kinds of ornaments are made from Pearls like bracelets, Kundan Sets and enamelled sets, Satladas (seven strand pearl set with precious stones), lacchas, chandbali (a moon shaped ear-ring), chokers, rassi (a chain set in the form of rope) chatai (a mat type chain, ear rings and rings), hath phool (for the fingers and the wrist), vaddenam (waist belt) and Tanmani.
Today, a visit to Hyderabad is incomplete without the purchase of Hyderabadi Pearls at Mangatrai Jewellers.