Pearls: an update on a classic

“I always think of pearls as something my Nan would wear”, said a customer last week. She then went on to choose a pair of (you guessed it) pearl earrings! The fact is that pearls are no longer just that classic necklace that everyone has seen in the period dramas on the BBC. Nowadays they are being used in much more contemporary designs and the colours and shapes which once were seen as less desirable are now taking centre stage.

Orbit Necklace, by CARA TONKIN

Orbit Necklace, by CARA TONKIN

Even the ‘classic’ pearl earring is seeing a revival, with designs incorporating removal sections, mismatched pairs or just streamlined fittings to make for a sophisticated, uncomplicated look. Pearls are the perfect accessory to take you from day to night.

Featured designs by Cara Tonkin, Victoria Sackwild and Raw Pearls

Recently we have been asked to make a few 30th (pearl) anniversary presents as well as birthday presents to incorporate a pearl (which is June’s birthstone). Far from the classic, single row necklaces of old, these commissions have been fun and modern; from simple chains with a few scattered coloured pearl details…


…to a classic stud with a removable drop which hangs behind the ear…


…the designs are far more unusual and perfect for those of us who are not traditional ‘pearl people’! ;)

 So, what if you have some old pearls that you never wear? Apart from giving them a clean and a restring, there’s nothing much that can be done, right? I really don’t agree! As a jewellery designer, I always think that it is better to use some of a piece than none at all (with a few exceptions, of course).  Why not consider using some of the pearls to make something more wearable?  If it is an inherited piece, you could even give a few pearls to other members of your family so that you can all have a part of its story. Whether they’re used as a detail within a larger design, as a simple, elegant pendant, or an enhancer to add a bit of colour or glamour to an existing piece, pearls will always be a timeless classic, suitable for any occasion. 

“Pearls are always appropriate.” – Jackie Kennedy

As always, if you have any jewellery questions, are looking to have that perfect piece made, or have a once-loved item which could do with a bit of TLC, then please do get in touch, we are only too happy to try and help.


Clare X