Pearl History

“Pearl necklaces and earrings are said to lift a woman’s complexion, enhancing the skin to make it look radiant and light and helping to melt away the years…"

Until about 110 years ago, pearls were more valuable than many precious gemstones due to their rarity. The added cost of stringing made the cost out of reach of all except the wealthiest individuals of that era. The cost was so great in the early 1900’s that a pearl necklace was exchanged for an American skyscraper! It was not surprising that imitation (fake) pearls were very popular at that time.


It is very easy to distinguish a real pearl from an imitation one – simply rub a pearl gently against your teeth – if it feels smooth then it is a fake pearl. If, however there is grittiness between your tooth and the pearl then this is undoubtedly a genuine freshwater or seawater pearl. For comparison reasons we suggest that you test a pearl that you know to be fake against a genuine pearl.


In the 1890s Kokichi Mikimoto of Japan began production of highly desirable cultured pearls by placing a small bead into an oyster shell. The bead coated itself with nacre (mother of pearl) and so good-looking pearl jewels became more affordable.

Nowadays starter beads of various shapes are placed in oysters and other shells to cultivate Freshwater Pearls. They are then left to mature in freshwater lakes and rivers. No two pearls are exactly the same as they each have a unique lustre and form making them stunning gifts of nature.


Simple, classic strings of pearls are items that will always look good with any outfit and will never date. There are now a much wider array of pearls in various colours and shapes, sometimes accompanied by precious or semi precious stones. Longer necklaces reminiscent of the 20’s and 60’s are a striking alternative to our classic ranges and will add a splash of colour and interest to your apparel.


Pearls are wonderful. They suit any age and due to being easy to pack and post or carry in a handbag are the perfect gift to slip into someone's hand at Christmas, Valentine's Day, Birthdays, Weddings or Anniversaries, or just to say you care that you know someone as beautiful and special as a pearl.


If cared for correctly (please see our 'caring for pearls' section), cultured pearls will last a lifetime and many cultured pearl items are passed down to future generations.


Want to learn more? Learn more about pearl types here:Types of Pearls