It’s no secret pearls are having a moment. No longer for the “ladies who lunch” set, they are no worn by literally everyone for every ocassion from supermodel Gigi Hadid pounding the pavement in NYC in a t-shirt to Harry Styles wearing them with a lace color and cashmere pullover. Styles, of course, has arguably made the trend acceptably unisex and, ICYMI, even baseball players like Joc Pederson have taken to wearing pearls, adorning his Atlanta Braves jersey in the outfield.
Here, we’ve shot them on a female but pieces like Yutai’s conceptual strands to Mikimoto’s simple black pearl Passionoir necklace are compelling examples that can be worn by pretty much anyone, anywhere. For those looking for a dramatic eveningwear piece, Fernando Jorge’s Sattelite mother-of-pearl earrings to Assael’s sizeable South Sea cultured pearl necklaces are glam statementmakers that will turn heads.
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Nevertheless, every piece here would be just at home with a pair of jeans as they would with a ball gown. The world is, you know, your oyster.
Yutai, the brainchild of Tokyo-based designer, Yuta Ishihara, has been working on a series of pearls that are soon to be instantly recognizable thanks to their unusual construction. It’s a bit of a speciality for the designer who is fond of taking traditional jewelry styles and turning them on their head into modern interpretations for a new generation of jewelry collectors.
His Sectional Collection plays right into that DNA. The pearl series takes the ageless pearl necklace but splices some of them with other materials like topaz, tanzanite and apatitie, in the same vein as a pearl necklace ball clasp which is typically made of two halp spheres of gold accented in diamonds. It’s a clever and ultra-hip take on the genre that can be appreciated by pearl wearers of every kind. Each piece is made-to-order.
Cultured Akoya pearl and 18-karat yellow gold Slide earrings ($5,300); cultured Akoya pearl, Itoigawa jade and platinum 900 necklace ($6,500); cultured Akoya pearl, apatite, blue topaz and 18-karat yellow gold necklace ($8,200); cultured Akoya pearl, tanzanite and 18-karat yellow gold necklace ($7,300); cultured Akoya pearl, rose quartz and 18-karat yellow gold necklace ($6,200); cultured Akoya pearl, tanzanite and 18-karat yellow gold bracelet ($15,000); cultured Akoya pearl and 18-karat yellow gold bracelet ($6,400).
Like pearly fireworks for your ears, Fernando Jorge’s Satellite earrings are about as statement-making as they come. But unlike other ear baubles in that genre, these are surprisingly lightweight while delivering heavy impact.
Diamond and mother-of-pearl earrings set in 18-karat yellow gold (price upon request).
Signaporean jeweler, State Property, uses space to highlight its pearls in 18-karat yellow-gold ellipses for a pair of edgy statement earrings, while Mateo also plays with form in a 18-karat gold ring accented with diamonds and topped off with a deep-set baroque pearl.
Meanwhile, Mikimoto and Seaman Schepps keep it classic while still offering plenty of style. Mikimoto’s three-strand pearl bracelet is as traditional as they come and while it speaks for itself as a singular piece on the wrist, it’s also a great stacking piece. And while Seaman Schepps has historically made jewels for American aristocracy such as the Du Pont, Mellon and Rockefeller clans, its pearl necklaces using a variety of pearl types along with sapphire, ruby, carved black jade and tsavorite rondelles offer the kind of mixed media look that is as appealing for newly minted collectors as it has been for those that can trace their families collections back several generations.
Left picture: State Property Ellipsis Drop earrings with South Sea pearls and diamonds set in 18-karat yellow gold ($16,780) ; Seaman Schepps Carnegie bracelet with three strands of freshwater pearls with black onyx and diamond rondelle accents set in 18-karat white gold ($20,150); Mikimoto Akoya cultured pearl and diamond bracelet in 18-karat white gold ($13,500); Mateo baroque pearl and diamond ring in 14-karat yellow gold ($6,500). Right picture: Seaman Schepps Canton necklaces with pearls, rubies, carved black jade and diamonds set in 18-karat white gold ($26,300-$54,900, can be worn as two layered necklaces or one long strand as pictured) and a Seaman Schepps strand of graduated multi-colored Tahitian pearls with pave sapphires, pink sapphires and tsavorite rondelles and white-gold rondelles ($37,500).
Why have a strand or two when you can have 7? Assael, a New York-based pearl specialist of Milanese origin, has a stunning necklace of several strands of Akoya cultured pearls that dial up the idea of a simple white pearl necklace. Pair it with the jeweler’s 18-karat yellow gold wrap wring topped off with an 8.0-8.9 mm Akoya pearl for a modern twist.
Just a little goes a long way if you go big and we mean, really big, with pearl sizes. Try stacking two strands like these South Sea cultured pearls from Assael ranging in size from 13.1 mm to 18.1 mm.
Assael 15.0 mm to 18.1 mm South Sea cultured pearl necklace ($324,000) and 13.1 to 14.1 mm South Sea cultured pearl necklace ($130,600), both set with a diamond-accented 18-karat white gold clasp.
Milamore’s perfectly imperfect freshwater pearls offer high-impact without breaking the bank. Plus, it keeps the show on display for both the front and the back with a single drop chain accented by a large freshwater pearl that elegantly drops down the back, ensuring that you won’t soon be forgotten as you exit the party.
Milamore Pearl Duo chain necklace with freshwater pearls and 18-karat yellow gold ($1,940).
But after all of these statement pieces and stacking, who’s to say a simple strand of pearls shouldn’t still have its place in the spotlight? Try them in black, like these South Sea pearls from Mikimoto’s Passionoir collection which can be dressed up or dressed down (pearls can even be paired with t-shirts and jeans these days). Or you can wear them with your swimsuit if you’re feeling bougie. Either way, the luster that pops from the dark hue will ensure they get all the attention they deserve on their own.
Mikimoto Passionoir black South Sea cultured pearl necklace with diamond ball clasp set in 18-karat black rhodium-plated white gold ($33,000) and black South Sea cultured pearl bracelet set in 18-karat white gold ($4,500).
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