Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but for those seeking something more understated, pearls have long been the stylish girl’s significant other. The lustrous, mysterious allure of pearls dates back centuries; presented as gifts to Chinese Royalty in 2300 BC and prized as the ultimate status symbol in Ancient Rome, pearls are considered the world’s oldest gem. Their appeal is further heightened by their provenance; natural pearls are found by diving to the darkest depths of the oceans. It was only in the 1900s that pearls became available on the mass-market, when the Japanese discovered how to cultivate pearls and significantly increase their production. Since this advancement, these timeless symbols of virtue, love, purity and wisdom have become available to the rest of us. Yet to this day pearls retain their sense of mystery, allure and preciousness, in part thanks to the mesmeric and unique lustre each little gem possesses.
Timeless they may be, but there’s no denying pearls are having a fashion moment right now, thanks in part to the young royals’ penchant for pearl-set pieces. Both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton are fans of these lustrous gems, having been spotted wearing pearl-set jewellery on numerous occasions. Attending her first royal engagement sans-Harry earlier this month, Meghan Markle wore a simple yet gorgeous pair of diamond and pearl earrings, made even more precious given they were a gift from Her Majesty The Queen. Known for her understated-meets-elegant taste in jewellery, Meghan chose creamy hued pearl earrings to form a delicate complement to her custom Claire Waight Keller dress, which was designed especially for her first solo royal engagement.
To bring the ‘Markle sparkle’ to your outfits, Copenhagen-based independent jewellery brand Pearl Stories have a collection of pearl stud earrings in creamier tones, which are a great choice for warmer skin tones. We particularly like the brand’s Mermaid Stud earrings that have a iridescent lustre; opt for earrings with luminescence to bring instant radiance to the face.
Meghan isn’t the only young royal picking pearls to form a chic complement to her occasion wear. The Duchess of Cambridge is also a fan, having been seen wearing the gemstone on numerous occasions. In particular, Kate favors a pair of baroque pearl drop earrings suspended from yellow gold hoops set with sparkling white diamonds. Often wearing an updo for formal events, Kate’s delicate drops add interest to the neckline whilst being simple enough to be worn with millinery – unsurprising then, that the Duchess wears them on repeat.
For a similar look, we’re sure Kate would appreciate Pearl Stories’ yellow gold Malala Drop Earrings set with freshwater pearls, featuring a contemporary design that will look good with just about anything and everything.
The Duchess of Cambridge also turns to pearls when looking to make a statement with her jewels. During a state visit to Poland in 2017, Kate wore a contemporary necklace featuring four large mabe oversize pearls suspended in an asymmetric pattern. It made for a modern, directional choice and proved that pearl necklaces can be trend-led as well as classic. Kate paired her necklace with a pair of mabe pearl Balenciaga earrings, for a total lustrous look.
If you’re also looking for a pearl necklace with red-carpet appeal aplenty, we’re rather taken with Pearl Stories 2 in 1 silk bow necklace. Featuring a luxurious silk sash decorated with a bright white baroque pearl, this red-carpet ready necklace would not look out of place in a Vermeer painting.
Whilst pearls are a fabulous choice for the red carpet and event-dressing, their quieter, understated luxury also makes an excellent choice for the everyday. Your favourite pearl jewellery can look equally as good paired with denim as with diamonds. Such is the Duchess of Cambridge’s dedication to pearls that she chose to wear a pair of classic pearl drop earrings (which reportedly belong to The Queen) leaving hospital with her third child Louis Arthur Charles in April.
Perhaps The Duchess is following advice from style icon Grace Kelly who said of the gem ‘I favour pearls on screen and in my private life’. If you’re looking to introduce pearls into your daily jewellery rotation, Pearl Stories ‘Essentials’ collection includes plenty of pearl pieces for everyday wear; we love the simple yet stunning Essentials pearl necklace with pendant that are a very affordable £60 and come with either a lavender, rose pink or white pearl pendant. To decorate your wrist, we’re also fans of the Essentials pearl bracelet that feature silver clasp detail and makes a great gift at £70.
And therein lies the true magic of pearls, their innate versatility that transcends trends, complements every woman and suits every occasion. ‘Pearls are always appropriate’, Jackie Kennedy once famously said, and we’re sure Meghan and Kate would wholeheartedly agree.