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Exhibition of pearls opens at V&A

20 September 2013 Last updated at 00:03 BST

Pearls - both natural and cultured - are the subject of a new exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Long-associated with wealth and glamour, pearls have a fascinating history from the early Roman Empire through to the present day.

The origin of natural pearls is the Arabian Gulf where pearl fishing was once the bedrock of the economy.

BBC News spoke to the curators of the exhibition, which opens on September 21.

Video produced by Sylvia Smith and Richard Duebel