The use of pearls in jewellery is almost as old as the jewellery industry itself. There’s something about the luster and shape of a pearl that makes it a perfect adornment or feature for an earring or necklace.
Over the years pearl jewellery has achieved iconic status – when one thinks of Audrey Hepburn it’s almost impossible to imagine her without her famous pearl necklace, and in the art world there are few paintings more instantly recognisable than Vermeer’s ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring’. Most pearls these days are produced synthetically, and these are called cultured pearls. It’s almost impossible for even a jeweller to tell the difference between a cultured and a natural pearl (unless they put them under a microscope) so there’s really no need to worry about the differentiation in the origin of the pearls you choose to wear.
Of course, because of pearls reputation for beauty and exclusivity, when people think about them they automatically assume that pearl jewellery is going to be expensive. Fortunately, thanks in no small part to the internet, that’s no longer the case. The advent of the internet has allowed jewellers to reduce their overheads, both in terms of sourcing materials and in terms of things like shop rental and utilities. Indeed, it’s now perfectly possible to run a successful jewellers with no high street presence at all – something that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. All this is good news for the jewellery buying public, because in most cases the jewellers pass at least some of the savings they make on to us. There are now some great bargains to be found on high quality, low cost pearl jewellery – it’s just a case of knowing where to look.
One of my favourite places to go in order to get pearl jewellery online is the website of an Edinburgh-based jewellers called Lily Blanche. They’ve got a really great range of pearl earrings and necklaces on their site (http://www.lilyblanche.com/shop/collections/pearl-earrings.html), and all at very reasonable prices (starting from just forty pounds for earrings and fifty five pounds for bracelets). What’s great about their jewellery is that it combines classic pieces with modern styles, so whether you’re looking for a nice set of earrings to accompany your little black dress or something more contemporary for everyday wear you’ll be able to find something that suits you. They’ve also got a good range of different coloured pearls in their collections, so you don’t necessarily have to think in terms of a classic white pearl look.
Because of the wide range of pearl based jewellery available, it’s easy to find designs for any look, so whether you’re after a simple classic design or something a little more intricate and complex you should have little trouble tracking down a piece that catches your eye. There are all sorts of pearls out there, and most are graded and priced according to their size and shape (the rounder and larger the pearl is, the more valuable it is), so these are a couple of factors to think about when you’re considering buying.