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Pearls - The Fashion Accessory Of All Time

Around for thousands of years, the Pearl has never lost its popularity in fashion and can be seen in today's fashion magazines, on the runway and on every street corner. 

As the world's oldest gemstone the first pearl finding can be traced as far back as 420 when a fragment was found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess. As far back as 2300 BC it's reported that Pearls were given as gifts to Chinese royalty. Because of their beauty and rarity, Julius Caesar passed a law in the first century BC declaring pearls were to be exclusively worn by the ruling class and by both men and women.

Fast forward to modern society...by 1935, there were approximately 350 pearl farms in Japan with an output of 10 million pearls a year. This all began in the late 1800s with Kokicho Mikimoto's discovery of creating cultured pearls. As attention to fashion grew more mainstream so did the demand for pearls.

Over the last 100 years pearls have continually appeared in fashion evolution as demonstrated Coco Chanel's iconic 1936 portrait featuring multiple strands of pearls draped over her shoulders. This image conveyed what she and her brand would come to represent - LUXURY.

When Audrey Hepburn appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961, her portrayal of a wealthy socialite included a black Givenchy evening gown, opera gloves, and four strands of pearls connected by a decadent pendant. She has become an icon for many woman seeking to portray and elegant style.

 

Add Jackie Kennedy to the mix in the 1960s as well. In the Sex and the City television series during 2000-02, Frances Sternhagen played Bunny MacDougal was never seen without her pearl necklace.

Fashion designers have transformed traditional pearl accessories into trendy must-haves for millennials and all generations. No longer are icons like Jackie Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel the faces of pearl jewelry. Today we see modern trend setters such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian wearing pearls. Even the ultimate non-conformist, Lady Gaga has been seen wearing her Mikimoto pearl necklace. Pearls, like diamonds, continue to be a staple in every woman's jewelry collection. Dress up or down and outfit, but whatever you do never forget your pearls.

You can dress up a casual outfit with a pair of pearls and add a statement to a otherwise plain black dress.

When shopping for pearls, know the lengths and how you wish to wear them. Have a selection on hand to meet every occasion from day wear to a black evening dress. By far the most popular pearl necklace is the classic 7 to 8mm size range which is the perfect go-anywhere size, perfect for office wear, a quick trip to the grocery store in a T-shirt and jeans, or an elegant night out. The 7 to 8mm pearl size range is for women from 16 years and older.

  • Collar length fits directly against the throat
  • Choker length rests at the base of the neck
  • Princess length reaches near the collarbone
  • Matinee length is generally 20-24 inches
  • Opera length is 30-36 inches
  • Rope length is a strand of pearls that is longer than 36 inches

Pearl Necklace Lengths

Necklaces can also be classified as uniform (where all pearls are about the same size) or graduated (pearls change uniformly from ends to center).

You'll always see pearls around. Check out 100Sterling.com's affordable Pearl Jewelry Collection, perfect for everyday, weddings, and anniversary birthday and special occasion gifts.