Creepy Pearls Are a Scary Good Idea for Halloween

“And leave something witchy.” One of the most evil humans in existence famously uttered these words, and if you know who I’m talking about, then you share my fascination with all things true crime.

As grim as the reference is, this phrase kept popping into my head as I curated this Halloween-themed cabinet of curiosities united by the most unlikely of common elements: pearls.

Normally a symbol of innocence and purity, and all that is light, lovely, and feminine in the world, these pearl jewelry designs subvert that notion by casting the lustrous gems as skulls, or working the pearls into pieces that represent something that scuttles, slithers, or bites.

Other pieces have a dark, foreboding quality, like Rosa Van Parys’ fringy necklace, recalling eerie cobwebs or tortured souls imprisoned in chains casting about in an attic somewhere.

Rosa Van Parys necklace
Madonna necklace with freshwater pearls, 18k white and yellow gold link chains, and a skull charm in 18k gold with diamonds, $11,790; Rosa Van Parys Jewelry

 I also included a vintage brooch that nods to those afflicted with coulrophobia—if you know, you know.

Yvel clown brooch 1st dibs
Vintage clown statement pin with cultured freshwater pearls, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds in 18k yellow gold, $3,750; Yvel at 1st Dibs

And my favorite jewels here are ones that don’t immediately jump out at you as spooky, yet nevertheless evoke something mystical, yet alluring: a spirit clad in black velvet, her face en poudre with wine-red lips, arriving via broomstick to a glamorous party attended by “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.

They know not if it’s dark outside or light…

Doryn Wallach pendant
Pendant with marbled agate, South Sea pearl, and diamonds in 18k yellow gold, $12,800; Doryn Wallach at Moda Operandi
Alishan pearl spider brooch
Spider brooch with Tahitian pearl, ruby, and colorless diamonds in 18k white gold, $5,500; Alishan
Meadowlark medusa drop earrings
Medusa drop earrings with baroque pearls in 9k gold, $1,709; Meadowlark Jewelry
Eye M Mermaids Eyes earrings
Mermaid’s Eyes studs with pearls and blue sapphires in gold-plated sterling silver, $265; Eye M by Ileana Makri
Anomy pearls
Necklace with pearls and mako shark tooth in 18k yellow gold, price on request; Anomy by Katerina Marmagioli
Yoko London Twilight earrings
Twilight collection earrings with Tahitian pearls and diamonds in 18k white and black gold, price on request; Yoko London
Bibi van der Velden Claw ring
Claw ring with baroque pearl in 18k yellow gold, $8,025; Bibi van der Velden
Anthony Lent flying fox necklace
Flying Fox necklace with rosebud pearl and diamonds in 18k gold on oxidized sterling silver chain, $3,220; Anthony Lent
FInn skull ring
Skull ring with coral and pearls in 18k gold, $980; Finn Jewelry
Alina Abegg crop circle ring
Crop Circle ring with South Sea pearl and pink tourmaline in 18k white and rose gold, $8,908; Alina Abegg


Samira 13 skull pendant
Skull pendant with pearl and diamonds in 18k rose gold, $2,950; Samira 13


Top: Geode pendant with Tahitian baroque pearl and black diamonds in 14k yellow gold, $1,750; and Tahitian pearl strand, $1,200; both little h by Hisano Shepherd


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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