"The pearl touches us with the same sense of simplicity and sweetness as the mountain daisy or the wild rose. It is absolutely a gift of nature, on which man cannot improve. We turn from the brilliant, dazzling ornament of diamonds or emeralds to a necklace of pearls with a sense of relief, and the eye rests upon it with quiet, satisfied repose and is delighted with its modest splendor, its soft gleam, borrowed from its home in the depths of the sea."George Frederick Kunz and Charles Hugh Stevenson
There is so much to say about pearls.
Pearls as symbols of purity, and pearls as symbols of power. Pearls pinned to our grandmothers’ sweaters and placed in our mothers’ jewelry boxes. And now, pearls on the most popular pop stars (Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa) and pearls trending on Tiktok (Vivienne Westwood’s three-strand choker) . . .
There’s the story of Cleopatra dissolving a pearl earring in a glass of wine, and the story of Kokichi Mikimoto, the Japanese entrepreneur who is credited with launching the cultured-pearl industry.
Once the most expensive jewelry in the world, pearls decorate paintings of royals in portrait galleries, and Hollywood royals on red carpets. (Not to mention politicians.)
If diamonds are forever, then pearls are certainly permanent too.
This summer, we’re taking a deep dive (pun intended) into the pearl (one of June’s three birthstones). We’ll be posting about all-things-pearls on our Instagram, as well as displaying a selection of pearl pieces from the TJL Collection in person and online (coming soon).
Follow along on our string of pearls!
A drop fell on the apple tree / Another on the roof; / A half a dozen kissed the eaves, / And made the gables laugh. / A few went out to help the brook, / That went to help the sea. / Myself conjectured, Were they pearls, / What necklaces could be! / The dust replaced in hoisted roa / The birds jocoser sung; / The sunshine threw his hat away, / The orchards spangles hung. / The breezes brought dejected / And bathed them in the glee; / The East put out a single flag, / And signed the fete away.Emily Dickinson
George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham
Portrait by Dutch painter Jansz van Miereveld, 1626.
Blueprint from the series '11 Pieces of Jewelry'.
Diana, Princess of Wales
Wearing her seven-strand pearl necklace and the iconic 'revenge dress'.
Stay tuned for more!