Pearls Fashion of the Ages

Judging by the fanfare surrounding a new museum exhibit, diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but pearls are her quiet passion. The exhibit, titled "Pearls," features fashions embraced by celebrities and royalty spanning hundreds of years. "Pearls" opened in October at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and is the most comprehensive museum exhibit on pearls ever presented. It took four years to plan and execute and comprises 500,000 individual pearls and more than 800 objects. It incorporates pearl history, jewelry, art, literature, and science. Highlights include a necklace given to Marilyn Monroe by Joe DiMaggio and the royal turban crown from 19th-century Nepal. Contemporary examples of pearl fashions include a floral pearl and diamond brooch set en tremblant by American designer Ella Gafter. "Over the ages and throughout numerous cultures, pearls have captured

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