My title is in honor of Prince and one of my favorite songs written by him. When Prince was thinking of a metaphor to describe a women, it was "Diamonds and Pearls." I agree and I will miss him.
Painting by Merryl Jaye
Known to be one of the most mysterious gems in the world, ancient legends, and very expensive, they are strand after strand of oceanic wonder.
Famous pearl lovers happen to be, Czar Alexandria of Russia, The Maharajah of Japhour and for "us" Americans, no one could think of pearls without thinking CoCo Chanel and Sarah Jessica Parker.
When it comes to fashion, pearls reign. Off the top of my head I remember Lupita Nyongo's 2015 pearl encrusted gown on the Red Carpet designed by Calvin Klein.
How could I ever forget Kim K (at one of her weddings) wearing Balmain's all pearl encrusted mini-dress…
This Balmain creation was in huge demand after that.
Still, no one can mention pearls without saying Chanel. It is Coco Chanel's signature of power and perfection, to this day.
As a person who loves pearls, I have a couple of tips that could help in a game of trivia.
No.1: I call it "At First Bite"
That's right, the tooth test. This is a method of determining if a pearl is genuine or not. Gently slide the pearl across the front of your teeth, the real thing will feel slightly gritty, not smooth. I saw Streisand do it in "Funny Girl" so I had to look it up.
No. 2: Conch Shells
4 out of every 54,000 yield a cotton candy colored conch pearl.
They are magnificent.
No.3: Know Your Lengths
Here’s a little Jewelry Chatter Box lesson for all my loyal peeps.
Here's how it goes;
Jackie Kennedy was always known for wearing "matinee" length pearls, 20-24 inches.
Princess Diana loved "Rope Length" pearls. They would cascade down her back. They would be at least 37 inches or more.
My all time favorite is Grace Kelly, with her preferred collar length of 12 - 13 inches. Even today she would be on top of her game. Collars are back and pearl collars are superb.
Tonight I will be looking for my collar of Mikimotto Pearls. (I am wearing Dior tonight so it will be perfection)
Moving on, do not get confused between collar length and a choker. Collar is smaller so will look more like what we call a choker but actually a choker is 14 -16 inches.
Make sure your jeweler knows what you want. A Pearl Collar is what is hot today. I can see Taylor Swift now. She can wear anything!
We cannot forget Opera length. My mothers’ favorite was 26-36 inches long.
Carolina Herrera always wore the Princess length of 17-19 inches.
Then the "Over The Top" Bib, which is multiple strands of pearls in varying lengths. You usually see Rihanna wearing tons of pearls with gigantic Chanel sunglasses. Her hair is up and the glamour is on!
Remember there are more than just round cultured pearls. There are a lot of other types of pearls to choose from.
1. Akoya, the one we have been talking about.
2. Abalone, iridescent baroque shape.
3. Golden South Sea comes from golden-lipped oysters.
4. White South Seas.
My favorite is satiny pearls that come from the warm waters like Australia or the Philippines. Paired with Black Tahitian and I get goose bumps.
These are all about the milometer size. For me, go big or go home!
There are many more but my last favorite is Baroque, a little artsy but known for it's irregular non-spherical shape and sought out by pearl connoisseurs.
"Another Cute Tid Bit":
My favorite "Power Pearl" story is about, of course Elizabeth Taylor.
Liz had a necklace from Cartier. It was all ruby and diamonds with an egg of a pearl hanging from the bottom. It was said, “the pearl was found by a slave, who was freed by his discovery.” The pearl changed hands many times before Richard Burton paid $37,000.00 for it to give to Liz. It was also told the 50.56 carat pearl was lost 20 minutes after Ms. Taylor received it. It was later found in the mouth of one of her Lhasa Apsos. It still remains the most expensive pearl in the world.
The one thing I can say is, from a girls confirmation, to June bride or bridesmaid, to birthday's and anniversaries there is nothing classier than pearls. No matter what length, no matter what shape, whether it's the LBD or the LWD or a pair of ripped jeans. Pearls are never a fashion faux paux. Plus the elegance you feel when wearing pearls is just delicious.
Karl Lagerfeld must feel the same way as CoCo. He has kept Ms. Chanel's feeling of pearls in the fore front design in every collection. Look at the collections. Whether it's shoes, bags, leather jeans, hats, finger-less gloves, iconic Chanel Jackets or in Karl's latest jewelry collection, the pearl is here to stay, forever, just like a diamond. The pearl is just more of an unexpected take on a classic element of fine jewelry. Chanel's key slogan with the new pearl collection is "The power of pearls is to illuminate a women's allure." It is an element to accentuate the silhouette, a finishing touch, the final flourish. Only Chanel.
Now my Esmeralites… Listen to me… Do not get caught up with the name Chanel or Mikimoto. Remember, not all of Chanel's pearls are real… as the French say they are faux. But even their faux have REAL prices.
Once again my chic friends, you can find all prices, size and shapes of pearls at a Preferred Retailer. What do you have to do? Just go in and Ask! Visit any Preferred retailer to have your “Experience to last a Lifetime™” and they will be happy to assist you in trying on all the lengths I've showed you.
Go on, pretend your Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn, I do! Try on those pearls, buy them yourself or tell that special person in your life that you know all about pearls now and you want and need them! Worked for me. Give it a try. Plus remember the JCB famous line, "Honey, they are forever, they will never go out of style."
Just try it, trust me.
@Esmeraldasays for Jewelry Chatter Box