Pearls in fashion have been around for thousands of years. Once upon a time only nobility were allowed to wear pearls, because they were such a status symbol. Famous painters paid homage to pearl necklaces and the lovely women who wore them through the centuries.
The pearl has been used in fashion for at least three thousand years. A three strand pearl necklace was found in the bronze sarcophagus of a mummy, and contained two hundred and sixteen perfectly conserved pearls. It is now on display in museums in Europe.
A famous pearl named La Peregrina was the queen of all pearl necklaces in its day. It had the largest pearl of those times and was part of the crown jewels of Spain in the early 1500s. It was given as a gift to Mary Tudor in England, but at her demise it found its way back to Spain. Eventually it made its way to America and back again.
The La Peregrina was given as a gift to a famous diva of the sixties and seventies by another movie star, her husband. It was arranged in a better setting, one resplendent with diamonds and rubies. It had to be drilled earlier in its life, in order to be fixed permanently into a setting. After all, ‘la peregrina’ stands for ‘the pilgrim’ or ‘the wanderer’. Among other pearl necklaces, La Peregrina had a habit of falling free of settings earlier in its life and barely missing being lost forever. It found its forever home in a starlet’s large collection of important jewels and is there to this day.
Famous painters have always been known for portraying the era in which they live in explicit detail or vague expressionist creative works. One famous painter painted scenes of a girl pouring milk, a lady receiving a letter from a servant, a girl playing a lute. Given the time of his paintings, the mid 1600s, one of his paintings natural pertained to pearl necklaces. A lovely lady in a yellow mantle stares into a mirror, enraptured with the pearl necklace she holds up for show to no one but her own reflection.
Pearl necklaces can be made from both cultured pearls or natural pearls. Pearls come in two types, for the most part. They are either saltwater or freshwater. Freshwater pearls are more often than not almost lumpy looking. Saltwater pearls can be lumpy too but are often cultivated or tailored by design to be smoother, rounder.
The colour of pearls in a pearl necklace can vary. Though a necklace made of identical pearls is highly prized for its rarity, pearls come in many colours, sizes, shapes and luster. Some pearls are so small they are called seed pearls. Others are rice shaped or potato shaped. Akoya and Kasumi pearls are the most prized, products of careful cultivation and growing in Japan. Not all pearls are lustrous, as not all pearls are ‘nacreous’. Though non-nacreous pearls are still pearls, chemically, their chemical makeup is differently arranged enough to not reflect light the way nacreous pearls do.
As old as pearls are, they are so adaptable to current trends. They look as good in old antique settings as they do in contemporary ones. Whether looped with a ribbon or twined with copper, set with almost clear line so they look like a dream across the skin, they look elegant. Paired with the best of designer dresses or worn as an accent for jeans, pearl necklaces are gorgeous and make a woman feel like a queen.
Pearl necklaces have been used in fashion for at least a couple of thousand years. A three strand pearl necklace was found in the bronzed sarcophagus of a mummy, and contained two hundred and sixteen perfectly kept pearls.