Not much is known about the Pearl of Wisdom aside from the manipulative effect it has on its victims. It is shown on the Warehouse 13 trading cards that the pearl was once owned by Lao Tzu.
The user places the Pearl in the ear of an intended victim, where it attaches to the inner ear. The process induces terrible nightmares in the victim, and once attached, allows the person who placed the Pearl to control the thoughts and actions of the victim.
The Pearl can only be removed by bringing the victim to the point of death, whereupon the Pearl detaches itself from the victim's brain and rolls out of the ear canal.
The Pearl can be manipulated by a large, unnamed Amber Orb to explore the memories of the person with the Pearl in their ear. The orb is currently in the possession of Warehouse Memory Proper Taka.
A 'pearl of wisdom' is an idiom in the English language, meaning a succinct, insightful saying, piece of information, or moral precept, although in contemporary usage it is very frequently ironic.
One of the largest pearls in the world, a non-nacreous pearl, is called the Pearl of Lao Tzu, Lao Tze, or the Pearl of Allah. The pearl came from Brooke's Point, Palawan in the Philippines. Wilburn Cobb, an American who brought the pearl from the Philippines in 1939 and owned it until his death in 1979. According to Cobb, he wanted to buy it from a Philippine tribal chief when he first heard of it in 1934, but the chief, a Muslim, did not want to sell because he considered the pearl sacred, in part because of its resemblance to the turbaned head of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. However, Cobb relates, he saved the life of the chief's son, who was stricken with malaria, in 1936 and was given the pearl as a token of gratitude. Because of its sacred associations, the pearl came to be known as the Pearl of Allah.
Much later, Cobb wrote a new account in the February 1969 Mensa Bulletin, this time promoting the pearl as an artifact of Chinese legend. He alleged he had been approached by a Chinese man named Li, who told him that the pearl had first been grown in a much smaller clam around a jade amulet inserted by a disciple of the legendary sage Laozi more than 2,500 years ago, and been transferred over the centuries to ever larger clams, growing to record size. Wars had supposedly been fought over the artifact, and it had been sent off to the Philippines as a protective measure, where it was lost in a storm. After Cobb's death in 1979, Peter Hoffman and Victor Barbish bought the pearl from his estate for $200,000. Barbish has claimed to have had further contact with other Li family members. (The legend of a "Pearl of Laozi", however, is only known from the claims of Cobb and Barbish.)