Perennially Popular Pearls
Also known as June's birthstone, the pearl Is not really a gemstone at all! It is not a mineral like most gemstones because, like amber, it's composed of organic matter. However, when people think of jewellery, they often think of diamonds and pearls as being particularly desirable and valuable.
The pearl necklace is the equivalent of the wardrobe’s “little black dress”, a jewellery box staple that can instantly transform a plain dress or outfit into something eye-catching, classy and chic. For many years, the pearl necklace endured the reputation of being somewhat “frumpy” - the twinset and pearls image of an ageing spinster has been difficult to shake off.
Things have really changed!
Pearls are now back with a vengeance - things have really changed! Real pearls used to be incredibly expensive because of their rarity but - thanks to farming - they are no longer the monopoly of the wealthy, and imitations have so much improved in quality and choice, that in terms of beauty and lustre, they can certainly give the real thing a run for its money.
Whilst a single or double strand of round white cultured pearls will always make you look like a princess, you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different types of pearls, different lengths, multiple strands, beautiful colours, and necklaces featuring combinations of pearls with gemstones, glass or other types of stunning feature beads.
Cultured pearls have become so affordable because there is now a huge freshwater pearl farming industry established around the coast of China. Freshwater pearls appear in many shapes with descriptive names such as “potato pearls”, “rice pearls”, or “button pearls”. There are many pearls in a shell, varying in size and colour. Freshwater pearls are often dyed – common colours being “peacock” , “peach" and "lavender" . They can vary in quality but they are still "real" pearls. The quality of a pearl is graded by its size, shape and lustre. Whilst a perfectly round large cultured pearl necklace would still be beyond most people’s budget, freshwater pearls are very affordable and can be just as stunning in a fashionable necklace.
Glass pearls such as those made by Swarovski TM (Austrian) or Preciosa TM(Czech) can allow the designer free rein to their creativity. Always perfectly round, they come in a variety of glorious colours so there will always be a jewellery item to coordinate with the latest fashion ensemble. These types of pearls will keep their appearance much longer than the cheap plastic "pearlised coating" variety than many people are familiar with.
High quality pearls are usually strung on silk thread and hand-knotted between each bead. This is to stop the beads rubbing together, but it also means that should your clasp or thread break, the pearls will not off in all directions. Be aware that pearls will need restringing every few years depending on wear, but many jewellers will offer this service.
Pearls are a particularly popular choice for brides, and you will find a great choice of affordable pearls, often teamed with sparkling crystals or cubic zirconia, in our wedding jewellery collection.