PEARLS FOR EVERY DAY –

Pearls are often treated as heirlooms to be worn on very special occasions. But you don’t have to keep them stored away. Get them re-strung if you have to and start wearing them!

Jackie Kennedy once said, “Pearls are always appropriate.” And she was so right. Besides being the perfect accessory for that proverbial “little black dress,” a single strand necklace or classic stud earrings lend a sophisticated air to any business and casual outfit. And these days, pearls are showing up in many new ways – – in cuff bracelets, hoop earrings, ear crawlers, and playful pendant necklaces. For ideas on how to wear them, check out this great little article from InStyle Magazine: Pearls 

GOOD TO KNOW

Pearls are…

  • the traditional birthstone for June – said to provide health and longevity to the wearer
  • not stones! They are made by living creatures (mollusks) of organic material called nacre, a composite of multiple minerals
  • the traditional gift for 30th Wedding Anniversary
  • symbols of wisdom, purity and grace
  • Cultured Pearls are natural and farm raised. Most pearls available today are cultured. Wild-found Pearls are now very rare – – they make quite an investment!
KINDS OF PEARLS – There are six pearl varieties you’re most likely to find in jewelry stores these days and there’s plenty of information around about them.

  • Freshwater – the most common and least expensive (but still so pretty!)
  • Akoya – classic cultured pearls
  • White South Sea – “the crown jewel” of pearls
  • Golden South Sea – rare and gorgeous.
  • Tahitian – the black variety of White and Golden South Sea Pearls. Their colors range from greys, browns, deep blues, greens, and purples.
  • Conch – vivid pink, and very rare.

Left: Rosebud Pearls aka Druzy or Strawberry Pearls.  Right:  Square Coin Pearls.  

UNCOMMON PEARLS –

If you know me, you know that I’m drawn to gems that are off the beaten track! And I love Baroque Pearls! Unlike standard round cultured pearls, these pearls offer distinct, irregular shapes, sizes, and characteristics. They dazzle with a rich luster and texture that defy the standard and set their own bar for beauty.

My favorite type of Baroque Pearls are Rosebud pearls, also known as druzy or strawberry pearls. Typically they are freshwater pearls and feature bumps similar to those found on rose buds and strawberry seeds. The bumps create a surface that can range from finely textured to very bumpy.

The color of a rosebud pearl depends on the shell from which it is harvested. Natural colors can vary from white, cream, pink, lavender, gold, peach, and sometimes even a light blue. Rarer colors include pearls with deep green overtones in pink pearls and silvery blue overtones in white or cream-colored pearls.

OTHER BAROQUE PEALRS ARE FURTHER CLASSIFIED BY SHAPE :

  • Coin – flat and very smooth; round, square or rectangular
  • Twin – two pearls fused into one
  • Baroque – umbrella term for irregularly shaped pearls but also refers specifically to elongated, asymmetrical spheres with uneven surface
  • Keshi – rarest of the baroque pearls, they have no center nucleus
  • Cross – also rare and highly valued for use in religious jewelry. Potato and Rice – the smallest baroque pearls, named for their obvious shape
  • Stick (Biwa) – elongated, narrow, and flat
  • Egg – wide bottom and narrow top
  • Heart – flat like coin pearls but heart-shaped
  • Teardrop – wide top and narrow bottom
  • Leaf – very thin with bumpy, uneven surface (like a dried leaf)

PARTING THOUGHTS –

When it comes to choosing pearls, remember that round cultured pearls aren’t your only option. Of course, they will always be stunning and classic, and should definitely be in your jewelry box. But the unusual shapes of baroque pearls work well in earrings, pendants, bracelets, and necklaces, allowing you to customize your fashion pieces to express your unique personality and flair.

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