Industry / Retail

How Do You Get Consumers On Board The Pearl Train?


Most people in the jewelry industry are well aware that pearls have a new reputation among fashion insiders today as compared to, say, a decade ago. The gems are hip, whereas once they were considered grandmotherly, cutting-edge as opposed to classic, and decidedly gender-neutral versus undeniably feminine (cue their starring role in the gender-neutral jewelry conversation).

But consumers are forgiven for being unaware of this sea change in the pearl’s image. Perhaps they’re not fashion-magazine junkies. Or maybe the pearl styles available in their communities simply haven’t caught up with trends.

That’s why many retailers are having success introducing their pearl-shy customers to the gems when they come disguised as accompaniments to yellow gold chains. Think of the gold as a delivery mechanism guaranteed to endear your customers to pearls, even if they walked into your store convinced that the gems are passé.

Consider the pro tip Susan Eisen of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry in El Paso, Texas, shared with JCK last week: “We love taking apart strands that have pearls that have been broken or damaged, taking out the best ones and mixing them with gold chain in an abstract asymmetrical way.”

Or what Boulder, Colo.–based retailer Nicole Hurdle told JCK in June: “The incorporation of pearls with a gold chain, something that has a modern feel with a more traditional pearl style, will work well.”

The styles featured below all capture the pearl-and-gold vibe.

Assael Silk Collection necklace
Akoya Silk collection necklace with Japanese akoya cultured pearls in 18k yellow gold, $5,900; Assael
Ginette NY pearl bracelet
Bead chain pearl bracelet in 18k rose gold, $420; Ginette NY
Imperial Pearl necklace
14k gold pendant with freshwater pearl, $735; Imperial Pearl
Monbouquette pearl gold earrings
Trois Bubble Drops in 24k gold plating with freshwater pearls, $425; Monbouquette
Ritique gold pearl coil ring
Nouveau Spiral Wire ring in 18k yellow gold and titanium with freshwater pearls, $540; Ritique
Shy Creation pearl chain necklace
Paper-clip chain necklace in 14k yellow gold with 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds and pearl, $2,295; Shy Creation

Top: Marisa Textured long necklace in 14k yellow gold with cultured freshwater pearls, $1,255; Mastoloni

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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