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What comes to mind when you think of Pearl jewellery? Young, fashionable and timeless – or your granny?
Well I’m here to say enough is enough! Pearls have had a bad rap for too long. Ditch your twin set and pastel cardigan, forget the image of 1950’s housewives and 16th Century sovereigns, because there is nothing old fashioned about pearls.
Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why pearl jewellery is making a comeback and here to stay!
1. They come in different colours
Pearls are all white, right? Nope. Pearls come in different shades depending on where in the world they are cultivated and what part of the pearl oyster shell they grow on (did you know that in fact any mollusk can grow its own ‘pearls’…although nobody would want a string of small pearls from a grey muscle shell). The rarest are the black pearls which are actually very rarely black: they are normally shades of grey, green, mauve, light blue, silver or peacock (a variety of these shades, like the tail on a peacock). You can also find light pink, gold and cream pearls. Although the most expensive are bright white, large, perfectly round, flawless and shiny.
So don’t worry, there’s a pearl for every outfit!
2. They are the only sustainable luxury ‘stone’
We will never run out of pearls. Unlike other precious stones and minerals that are taken from the ground, including all metals, pearls are a living thing. Cultured pearls are created by very skilled (and highly paid) technicians who insert a tiny piece of shell into the meat of the pearl oyster shell and sew it up. Over the years the mollusk tries to expel the ‘foreign’ pieces of shell and over time covers it in nacre, the pearly substance also found on the inside of a shell. After 3 years the pearl oyster shells are harvested and the pearls extracted. You never know what you are going to get, but the cultivated ones are controlled so the pearl is always more round, bright and beautiful (and expensive) than the ones made naturally.
3. They needn’t cost the earth
Love the pearly look but scared you will have to settle for the plastic kind from your local pound shop? Please don’t, there is no need. If you want to start your pearl collection the affordable way – go for fresh water or keshi pearls. These are smaller, less round and irregular, but just as pretty and not expensive. But be careful when being sold pearls abroad – always check their authenticity by ensuring they are cold to touch and rough when rubbed against your teeth (if the vender will let you do that, of course)!
4. They are timeless
What did Marylin Monroe, Jackie O and Elizabeth the 1st have in common? Their love of pearls, of course. Through the centuries pearls have been used to adorn fashion and make women stand out from the crowd. Nothing says ‘family heirloom’ like a beautiful string of pearls or simple pendant. In fact, Meriko London’s Pacific Dream collection was inspired by the classic beauty of pearls, but designed with a contemporary edge.
5. They scream ‘elegant’ (whatever you are wearing)
Try it. Wear jeans and heels…then add pearls. See! Good enough for both the pub or polo match. Add them to a plain black dress and straight away you are having Breakfast At Tiffany’s. You can even go as far as wearing them on the beach, they are waterproof after all!
So what is it going to be?
Big round and white, or delicate small and shimmery dark green? It doesn’t matter what style of pearl you go for, they are here to stay. Pearls are timeless pieces created to be handed down through generations, the perfect stone to help women throughout the centuries look priceless!