It is often believed life tends to always come full circle. This is also true in the case of fashion, particularly jewelry. Not long ago pearls were dumped off the fashion radar and were tagged as the ‘oldies thing’. Not anymore, especially when the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wears them like drop earrings or when America’s First Lady Michelle Obama chooses a double-strand pearl necklace – it means pearls are back in fashion. Today many celebrities are replacing diamonds with pearls and are quite literally shining in a sophisticated glow. From Sarah Jessica Parker to Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson to Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley everybody seems comfortable adorning pearls. Most often they club sophisticated attires with pearls and create quite an impression.
Pearls, which were once considered perfect for the aged, have suddenly become a favorite of the younger generation. The jewelry item is no longer seen as a dated item that should be preserved for an older generation. Rather today a young fashionista can be seen wearing a classic pearl earring even in nightclubs.
Pearls have been considered not only precious but terms such as pure, power and wealth have often been associated with the gem. History has enough proof of how well regarded the gem was. Roman women were believed to wear them even to sleep, while in the 19th Century Europe, the royalty preferred pearls over other gems. If we take a glimpse at the early 20th century we can again find evidence of the preferential treatment given to pearls. Coco Chanel was hardly seen without her pearls, Hollywood sensations Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly were often seen wearing pearls. It was not until the 1990s that pearls seemed to disappear. But now they are back, especially high-quality natural ones.
High-quality natural pearls are becoming increasingly popular among youngsters more because they are becoming rare due to overfishing and pollution. Aged pearls or those which have been part of historic collections are particularly attracting buyers. Instances of such cases can be seen in recent auctions. In September 2013, a pair of 1925 Art Deco natural pearl and diamond chandelier earrings were auctioned for £157,250 while a 1965 pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings were auctioned for £290,500 in April 2014.
Jewelry experts are pointing out several reasons for this rising trend. According to some, pearls perfectly add to a classic jewelry collection and also embody elegance. Pearls also have the ability to flatter one’s complexion and illuminate the face, add the experts.
There are other reasons as well that are making pearl so highly desirable. Designers are incorporating new designs and reinventing the way pearls are worn. If earlier pearls were the focal point of any jewelry, today they are mixed and matched with other gemstones as well. In fact, designers are re-discovering pearls and not showcasing them as either a classic pearl choker or a single strand of pearls. The designers are innovatively integrating diamonds and sapphires with pearls.
More and more designers are bringing out affordable pearl sets and thus attracting the younger generation. Moreover, there are also several instances where designers are also not using real pearls but using materials such as agate, resin, metal with palladium finish, glass and howlite to create the right effect. These modern versions of the traditional gem have already been worn by the likes of Emma Watson, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lawrence.
Pearls, whether in their natural form or the artificially created ones have again regained their elegant status in the fashion circles. The fact that celebrities are often seen wearing pearl studs, necklaces and bracelets has only helped designers market pearls.