As far as high school and college graduation gifts go, the pearl necklace is as classic as it gets, but the options have expanded considerably from the typical, although eternally lovely, 16- or 18-inch strand of akoyas. I think I got mine for my 21st birthday, so I was able to wear it to my college graduation festivities (in the pouring rain).
Who knows what the class of 2020 is feeling pearl-wise? I’m guessing jewelry is the furthest thing from their minds, whether they’re headed to collegiate life or the “real world” with jobs and bills. But I am also reminded of what President Obama said in his televised “Graduate Together” speech: “…the disappointments of missing a live graduation—those will pass pretty quick.”
Perhaps this year a pearl necklace or pendant can counter those disappointments with a bittersweet acknowledgment of them and redirect the graduate to the fact that the jewel is something she’ll have forever. It’s something for the next chapter—and for all that is yet to come.
“What remains true is that your graduation marks your passage into adulthood—the time when you begin to take charge of your own life,” Obama further noted in the graduation speech.
And pearls have always been the perfect accessory for this journey.
Consider the example below, a mini pearl trousseau from the legendary house of Mikimoto, which includes not just the requisite necklace but an entire pearl “toolbox.”
I like imagining who might receive such an elegant graduation gift and where they’re headed. Main Gate at Vassar College? A symphony orchestra? A prestigious medical research facility? The political stage?
Here are several more pearl necklace gift ideas, handpicked for the class of 2020 as they hit the road that’s rising up to meet them.
Top, clockwise from left: Double baroque pearl choker with gold-filled wire, $250, Mary MacGill; Akoya cultured pearl pendant in 18k white gold, $2,500, Mikimoto; and strand of akoya pearls with 18k white gold clasp, $5,750; Tara
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