Mini Pearls Are Having a Moment

There’s a renewed interest in pearls as of late, as you’ve probably noticed. Statement jewels, where a large, luminescent pearl plays a central part of the design, are, as ever, beloved. But I’m focused on styles a little less pearl jewelry and a little more jewelry made from pearls. Yes, I believe there is a difference.

Because when you think of a pearl necklace, what comes to mind? A strand of pearls, most likely—even to those who have a vault of pearl images living in their mind, it’s hard to forgo the traditional definition.

Parade Design pearl link necklace
Parade in Color necklace in 18k rose gold with 1.16 cts. t.w. pearls and 0.04 ct. t.w. diamonds, $750; Parade Design

So I’m not sure I’d call a pendant adorned with pearls a pearl necklace, even if that’s precisely what it is.

Irene Neuwirth pearl earrings
Earrings in 18k rose gold with pearls, price on request; Irene Neuwirth

Take the pair of earrings featured here, for example. They’re pearl earrings, but they’re not pearl earrings. You get where I’m going with this?

Via: @prabalgurung

Pearls were all over the spring 2019 runways, from Chanel (as is typical) to Prabal Gurung, my favorite iteration, which featured really cool, cascading earrings made from pearls (the earrings are by Tasaki, where Prabal is creative director)—pearl earrings, that they are, but pearl earrings, they are not.

Stuller freshwater pearl earrings
Geometric earrings in 14k rose gold with freshwater cultured pearls and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds, $960; Stuller

Where many diamond jewels can take the ins and outs of daily life—showers, pools, hairspray, perfume—the porous pearl may not withstand such a wallop, so jewelers may find themselves replacing a tiny pearl or two over time—particularly if jewels like these are worn on the daily, as these styles are typically meant to do. A quick lesson in pearl care with the purchase of pieces like these may help your customers to keep their jewels in pristine condition for the long haul.

Andreoli pearl tassel necklace
Tassel necklace with pearls, onyx, 7.28 cts. t.w. white sapphires, and 4 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request (sold); Andreoli

Still, the good things in life come with a little risk, don’t they? With these jewels as the reward, I’m totally good with that.

Bernd Wolf Alana pearl bangle
Alana bangle bracelet in 24k yellow gold–plated sterling silver with pearls, price on request; Bernd Wolf

Top: Mini pearl flower earrings in 14k yellow gold, $410; Barbela Design

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JCK Contributing Editor

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