Industry / Pearls

Do Consumers Know How Colorful Pearls Really Are?


Rainbow jewelry is an immensely popular category, often comprising multicolor sapphires, tourmaline, or even diamonds. But pearls?

Okay, so you won’t get the fully saturated ROYGBIV experience with pearls (unless they’ve been heavily dyed), but it is possible to enjoy a single piece of jewelry displaying an array of pearl colors, from pink and white to blue and green, purple, black, and shades in between. In fact, pearl might actually be one of the most colorful gems there is, but it’s never really thought of that way, is it?

Assael Fall Branches pearl earrings
Fall Branches earrings in 18k rose gold with Fijian natural color cultured pearls and 11.87 cts. t.w. oval briolette diamonds, $96,000; Assael

It’s actually quite amazing how a group of pearls in varying shades can appear. Tahitian pearls, for example, can display a wide range of colors all their own. It’s not unlike any other gemstone in that sense, where the shades and hues may vary, like a sapphire or a spinel. While collectors may prize a strand of uniformly colored pearls—matching pearls are more valuable and highly sought after—a mix of colors is still desirable, especially when done well.

Yana Nesper multicolor pearl ring
Ring in 18k white gold with freshwater multicolor pearls and diamonds, €1,700 ($1,980); Yana Nesper

For consumers just starting out with pearls, an introduction to the white they most often associate with the gem feels necessary—a necklace of glossy pearls feels like a jewelry box staple if there ever was one. But it could be the color that pulls them in, luring shoppers to a gemstone they didn’t know much about aside from that iconic white strand that has reigned for generations.

Noa Joyeria pearl necklace
Necklace with shell clasp in 14k yellow gold with Chinese freshwater cultured pearls, $882; Noa Joyeria
Mikimoto Passionoir talisman pearl bracelet
Passionoir Talisman Glide bracelet in black rhodium–plated sterling silver with black South Sea cultured pearls, $5,100; Mikimoto

It is enough that the pearl has been experiencing a renaissance over the last several years—the past decade, even—in design. But throw in splashes of color to bring the fun, and it becomes all the more true that pearls are indeed the best they’ve ever been.


Nicole Rose multicolor pearl necklace
Multicolor necklace in sterling silver with South Sea and Chinese pearls, $595; Nicole Rose

Whether it feels right for your store or clientele to stock multicolor pieces like these, or to display an array of single-color pearl styles in different shades for a knockout showcase, introducing your customers to a whole new world of pearls opens up a rainbow of possibilities—and might even spark a love affair with a new stone.

Top: Necklace in 14k gold with multicolor akoya cultured pearls and 0.13 ct. diamond, $1,500; Baggins

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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