Pearls, distinct from other gemstones, emerge not from the depths of the earth, but from the depths of the sea. These precious treasures require no intricate cutting or polishing to unveil their natural, luminous allure. Their timeless elegance has been cherished throughout history, ensuring that pearl jewelry remains eternally fashionable.
The Rich History of Pearl Jewelry
Pearls have adorned jewelry since ancient Greece and, until the 20th century, reigned as one of the most highly valued gemstones in various cultures. In the Byzantine Empire, pearls were exclusively reserved for the emperor, while other societies imposed strict rules on who could don these exquisite gems. The sixteenth century in England is aptly known as the "Pearl Age," a testament to the prestige pearls held during that era.
The accessibility of pearls broadened in the early 1900s with the innovation of cultured pearls in Asia. By gently introducing a small nucleus into a living oyster, a pearl formed around it, revolutionizing the pearl industry to produce pearls.
Symbolism Woven into Pearls
In antiquity, pearls were seen as symbols of the moon and endowed with mystical qualities. Ancient Chinese civilizations believed that wearing pearls shielded them from fire and dragons. Different cultures associated pearls with qualities such as chastity and modesty, while in Victorian England, tiny seed pearls were often incorporated into mourning jewelry to symbolize tears.
Pearls as Tokens of Affection
Throughout history, pearls have been exchanged as heartfelt gifts. When the renowned explorer Marco Polo visited Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan in the 13th century, he reportedly presented the emperor with the breathtaking Arco Valley Pearl. Weighing 575 carats and measuring over three inches in length, this remarkable pearl's whereabouts remain unknown after being auctioned in Abu Dhabi in 2007. Another famous pearl, La Peregrina, was gifted by Prince Phillip II of Spain to his bride Mary during the 16th century. This pear-shaped saltwater pearl had a series of illustrious owners until the 1960s when actor Richard Burton gave it to his jewelry aficionado wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor had a necklace designed to accentuate La Peregrina, featuring pearls and rubies.
20th-century style icon Grace Kelly also adored pearls, both during her screen career and her reign as Princess Grace of Monaco. Her husband, Prince Rainier, gifted her a luxurious pearl-and-diamond jewelry set that she frequently wore.
Pearl Jewelry Today
If you're in search of captivating pearl jewelry with a modern twist, Peora offers a stunning range of eco-friendly, sustainable freshwater cultured white and grey pearl jewelry. Our collection features a variety of designs, from dainty and minimalist pieces perfect for both holiday parties and office wear. These elegant creations are available in 14k yellow and white gold, as well as sterling silver, ensuring there's a perfect option for every occasion. Experience the contemporary elegance of Peora's pearl jewelry, redefining the classic pearl for today's style.
Caring for Your Pearl Jewelry
Preserving the beauty of your pearls requires care. The acidity in perspiration can gradually harm pearls, so it's advisable to gently wipe them with a dry or damp cloth after wearing them close to your skin. Avoid exposing your pearls to perfume or other chemicals, and protect them from extreme heat, like direct sunlight or the heat from a hair dryer. By following these guidelines, your pearls will remain exquisite for decades, becoming heirlooms in their own right.