Humans have been in awe of the beautiful pearl, in all its shapes, colors, and sizes, for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest recordings suggest pearls were regarded as precious treasures as early as 2,000 BC.
In today’s fine jewelry cases you’ll still see the classic “string of pearls” evenly shaped and common in luster, but you’ll also see a celebration of “imperfect” pearls combined with a variety of metals, leather, and even string.
The simple fact is, we’ve been drawn to the appeal of pearls since the beginning of time for a reason – they’re absolutely stunning in all of their shapes in forms. As bold new artisans take on the ever-popular pearl, we’re fortunate to have a front-row seat as we watch their incredible creativity unfold.
Handmade Pearl Jewelry
Baroque Pearl Jewelry – Imperfectly Perfect
Referred to as baroque pearls, these treasures of the deep come in an infinite number of shapes and sizes. No two are exactly alike and that’s what is making handmade pearl jewelry increasingly popular as a focal point for today’s jewelry be it a necklace, earrings, ring, or bracelet. What’s yours is yours and it is worn by no other!
When you wear a one-of-a-kind pearl necklace, you’re making a statement. This pearl is the way it is, and it is beautiful, just like me. It’s the sort of feeling you won’t get from apparel. It’s beautiful and flawed, modern and ancient, all at once.
Pearls and Mixed Metal Designs
Mixed Metal Pearl Jewelry – Informal Elegance
Of course, not everyone is looking for the imperfect beauty of baroque pearls. Some still love the consistent look of multiple similar pearls but also want a design and setting that separates them from the common string.
More and more, this need is being met with mixed metals, asymmetric constructs, and multi-functional concepts. Honestly, it’s a trend we can get behind, and if you have the opportunity to see a pearl mixed metal necklace in person, we think you’ll agree.
A great example of this approach is the Pilar triple wrap handmade pearl bracelet or necklace. Just look at the picture below, it’s beautiful.
The Pilar is approximately 22” in length and designed in such a way that each of the three wraps of the wrist present a different look and feel. First, a wrap featuring a bronze sacred heart medallion, then a wrap with baroque grey pearls separated by heishi beads from Africa, and then a final wrap with iron wheat and cuff chain. The effect of the wrapping is a stacked look that stays in place with the soft luster of pearls framed by the strength and weight of iron.
How to Mix and Match your Pearl and Metal Jewelry
While pearls are perfectly capable of standing on their own, sometimes they work best when paired with a more sparkling element like pyrite to create another sweet and savory combination. The color and reflectivity of the pyrite stands in elegant contrast to the soft glow and uneven shape of the pearl. Using a baroque pearl in this design once again creates a unique piece for the wearer that they wouldn’t find with a strand of perfect pearls.
For those who prefer a simple and casual design, pearls can be brought to life in everyday wear via an informal touch of leather cord to affix the pearls to the chain. You can see in the picture below of the Adira bracelet, again by Embrazio, how just the small addition of corded leather makes a piece more comfortable, more genuine, and more open to casual wear.
The Verdict – Modern twists on classic designs elevate today’s pearl jewelry
The fact is, while we still have a prominent place for the classic string of pearls, today there is much, much, more being done in designs featuring this organic treasure from the water. Frankly, we’re all for it. Pearls are timeless for a reason, and we can’t wait to see people wearing these new styles for generations to come.
From mixed metals that contrast with the soft glow of pearls to sparkling elements like pyrite and knotted leather cord, mixing and matching colors, shapes, and materials creates a new level of excitement and interest. And, best of all, each piece although common in design is unique in totality given the infinite combinations of shapes and colors.