Pronunciation: BIH-ser-uh, BEE-ser-uh
Other Forms: Biserka
I've been really into Slavic names lately, and this lovely name, used most commonly in Bulgaria, Macedonia, is no exception!
Bisera comes from the South Slavic word biser, meaning "pearl". Pearls are the lustrous object produced within the soft tissue of shelled mollusks, and like their shell is made up of calcium carbonate. While most pearls today are cultured, also known as farmed, a naturally formed pearl is still considered the best quality. Pearl hunting can be traced all the way back to 543 BC, when the only way to gather them was to use free divers who would have to swim to a depth of more than 100 ft on a single breath. Indians harvested freshwater pearls from the lakes and rivers in Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi. The beautiful pearls produced in the waters around the British Isles were one of the big attractions for Julius Caeser.
I found two famous namesakes, Bisera Veletanlić, a Serbian jazz singer, a star of music festivals of the 1970s, and Olga Bisera, born Bisera Vukotić, a Yugoslav-born Italian actress who featured in "The Spy Who Loved Me".