PEARLS …

  • Pearls are feminine, fun and flirty, a personality typified by trending pearl fashion jewelry. Think of Sarah Jessica Parker’s style in Sex in the City.
  • Pearls are classic simplicity — the strand and studs worn by any woman who appreciates an understated look. Think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • Pearls are sophisticated — a long, lush strand of fine large pearls looped around the neck or a multi-strand necklace perhaps clustered or twisted, with or without a diamond or gemstone adornment. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
  • And last but not least, pearls are extravagant and spectacular. Try one-of-a-kind designer stylesaccented and interwoven with diamonds and gemstones. Think of Rihanna draped in strands of pearls or Elizabeth Taylor wearing La Peregrina.

So, How are Pearls Formed?

The story of pearl formation sounds much like a fairytale in which the heroine is perceived as a threat and shut away from the world with no obvious possibility of redemption. So, how are pearls formed? Here’s how the tale unfolds.

Each pearl begins when an irritant somehow enters an oyster or other bi-valve mollusks. On perceiving the threat, the mollusk reacts to protect its soft inner tissue. It encapsulates the irritant with successive translucent layers of nacre, smoothing its surface so oyster and irritant can coexist. As far as the oyster knows, the irritant will be there permanently.

Then miraculously, someone opens the mollusk to find a treasure of great beauty. The once disdained “irritant” emerges as a pearl and enters a world of love and appreciation to live happily ever after. The end.

I don’t think so.

We can’t just leave this story for pearls. Let’s apply it to our lives too. After all, don’t our biggest challenges and ”irritants” develop our greatest strengths and bring inner beauty to light?

Pearls in History

With so many pearls available today, it’s hard for us to understand the rarity of natural pearls, particularly those of any size. They are so rare that for millennia they were the most coveted gems. To have one was to possess beauty of incomparable value. Only royalty and other wealthy individuals had any hope of ever owning pearls.

The Hope Pearl

The most famous natural saltwater pearl weighs 1,800 grains — 450 carats — or 4-ounces. It once belonged to the owner of the Hope Diamond. Currently, it is in the British Museum of Natural History.

La Peregrina

This one is a perfectly pear-shaped pearl weighing 223.8 grains (55.95 carats). Its famous owners included Prince Phillip II of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte — who stole it from Spain, British Marquis of Abercorn, and finally in 1969, Elizabeth Taylor, gifted to her by Richard Burton.

The Mary Tudor Pearl

Now known as the Pearl of Kuwait, it is often confused with La Peregrina. They are both pear-shaped. The Mary Tudor Pearl weighs 258.12 grains or 64.5 carats. It was owned by Isabella of Portugal; her daughter Joanna of Austria; Joanna’s cousin, Phillip II of Spain; and Mary Tudor of England.

The Hope Pearl

The most famous natural saltwater pearl weighs 1,800 grains — 450 carats — or 4-ounces. It once belonged to the owner of the Hope Diamond. Currently, it is in the British Museum of Natural History.

La Peregrina

This one is a perfectly pear-shaped pearl weighing 223.8 grains (55.95 carats). Its famous owners included Prince Phillip II of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte — who stole it from Spain, British Marquis of Abercorn, and finally in 1969, Elizabeth Taylor, gifted to her by Richard Burton.

The Mary Tudor Pearl

Now known as the Pearl of Kuwait, it is often confused with La Peregrina. They are both pear-shaped. The Mary Tudor Pearl weighs 258.12 grains or 64.5 carats. It was owned by Isabella of Portugal; her daughter Joanna of Austria; Joanna’s cousin, Phillip II of Spain; and Mary Tudor of England.