He who would search for pearls must dive below… John Dryden


Tears of mermaids : the secret story of pearls  Stephen G. Bloom  New York : St. Martin’s Press, c 2009  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing.      x, 382 p. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [357]-366) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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For Tears of Mermaids, Stephen G. Bloom traveled 30,000 miles to trace a single pearl — from the moment a diver off the coast of Australia scoops from the ocean floor an oyster containing a single luminescent pearl to the instant a woman on the other side of the world fastens the clasp of a strand containing the same orb.

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Bloom chronicles the never-before-told saga of the global pearl trade by gaining access to clandestine outposts in Japan, China, the Philippines, French Polynesia and Australia.  Bloom infiltrates high-tech pearl farms and processing facilities guarded by gun-toting sentries, and insinuates himself into the lives of powerful international pearl lords.

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Bloom farms for pearls in rural China, goes behind scenes at million-dollar auctions in Hong Kong, trails pearl brokers and Internet entrepreneurs in Asia, hires himself out as a deckhand on an Australian pearling vessel, and goes backstage at Christie’s for a fast and furious auction of the most expensive pearl ever sold.  Teeming with rogue humor and uncanny intelligence, Tears of Mermaids weaves a nonstop detective story of the world’s most enduring gem.

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