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Black Pearls

“The Black Pearl” is a novelette in my latest collection of Miriam bat Isaac stories, The Deadliest Returns. The story is about Miriam’s attempt to return a black pearl stolen from the people of Ephesus. The gem, however, first appears in the previous story, “The Beggar” where Judah tells Miriam why the pearl he has is so valuable:


Hey, it’s not just any pearl; it’s a spectacular one. Large enough to cover my thumbnail, this prefect sphere is blemish free and with an eerie luster. I’d heard about it but never seen it. When I took it back to my shop, I looked it up in the codex. The one my father gave me. Says it comes from an exotic oyster. ‘Very valuable.’ And guess what else? It has the power to heal the brokenhearted and restore the health of the one who possesses it.

Even though Judah, Miriam’s husband, is an accomplished jeweler, he’d never before seen a black pearl. That’s because they’re so rare. They are formed in the mantel of the black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera, commonly known as the black-lipped pearl oyster found in only the French Polynesian waters.


The pearls aren’t exactly black. Instead they come in various dark colors, such as gray, purple, blue, or green, giving the illusion of black. These gems also display strong overtones of peacock, red, green, or dark purple. As Judah explains, the black pearl has special powers. Accordingly, possessing it could be a compelling motive for murder. To see for yourself, just click here.


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