LONDON, United Kingdom — The first time a girl experiences pearls is typically when playing with the contents of her grandmother’s jewellery box. Pearls are precious gemstones, visually attractive, appealing to the sense of touch and make a fascinating noise in your hands; it is no wonder that children gravitate to them over more delicate jewellery. The unique beauty, luminosity and femininity of pearls make us all wish for at least one good set in a lifetime. “Pearls are timeless and connect the generations: Grandmother to mother to daughter…” suggests a young Londoner while a young Scottish lady recalls, “The pearls that my Grandmother left for me are more like a treasure rather than something I would wear regularly.”
Pearls tend to carry a meaningful message; it is like every pearl has a story to tell: “I do have a beautiful set of pearls that my Mum gave me right before I gave birth to my daughter,” recalls an American film producer while a financier from Germany associates them with her Dad as he chose a pearl necklace for her. A trendy Bostonian social investor is emotionally attached to her pearls as they were gifts from her Mum for special occasions while an Israeli interior designer adds: “Pearls are so meaningful as I received them from my Dad over the years.”
No matter where we come from, we all seem to have the same devotion for pearls, which we have either inherited or received as a precious gift from our loved ones. And this seems to be also the case for pearls expert such as Lulu Tyers, Founder, Designer & Managing Director of Pearl-Lang, an on-line luxury pearl jewellery brand based in London: “My first experience with pearls was the first pearl necklace given to me by my mother for my 18th birthday…I was instantly attracted to the beauty and femininity of pearls. Since then, I have developed a deep passion and interest in these organic gems.”
Undeniably there is a strong link between nature, pearls and women as Lulu states: “Pearls are the only organic gems on earth and are natural treasures. We are all part of nature and in some ways, pearls are the indicators of the health of our environment. In order to cultivate high quality pearls with superb lustre and surface quality, you would need pristine waters. The day we do not have pearls is the day we know we are doomed as a human race!”
Pearl-Lang’s collection includes Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls, all of them meticulously selected, a mere 1% of total harvest. “As a jeweller, this is a privilege, as not every jeweller has the opportunity to go directly to the farms in China, Japan, French Polynesia, Indonesia or the Philippines and see and pick every single pearl,” comments Lulu.
While admiring the beauty and the perfect shapes of pearls, I inevitably ask myself what is the difference between cultured and natural pearls? The great variety of colours and exquisite lustre makes them even more difficult for the naked eye to discern a difference. However Lulu expertly explains: “The only difference between cultured pearls and natural pearls is that cultured pearls have assistance from human beings initially, but nature still has to complete its own work. We, as human beings, cannot interfere with the pearl formation process within the oyster. Almost all pearls seen on the market are cultured. Natural pearls are extremely rare and are usually found in museums and auctions. i.e. A natural coloured pearl necklace was sold at Christie’s for an auction record of $5.1 million in April 2015.”
Lulu also adds: “The only conclusive way to determine whether the pearls are completely natural is through lab testing by pearl experts,” a service that Pearl-Lang offers to all its clients. As a matter of fact, Pearl-Lang is a one-stop shop for pearl connoisseurs and first time buyers alike. There is a dedicated section to indulge yourself in the pearl world and fully understand the differences between pearls, shapes and colours and even a pearl guide on how to buy and take care of your pearls.
Lulu firmly believes that the biggest challenge of the pearl industry is the lack of information available to the end customers: “Very few people know how many different varieties of pearls, shapes and colours are out there.” Pearl-Lang are empowering customers with knowledge about this market and can help them to make the right choices. “We are among the very few that are transparent on pearl grading and pearl knowledge. For each product, we grade it using the seven pearl value factors defined by GIA, the most prestigious gemmological institute in the world that also grades diamonds. I do not believe in making pearls a mystery for people. It is important for people to understand what they are buying and its quality.”
How To Wear Them
The close link between nature, pearls and women’s femininity and individuality is reflected in the latest Pearl-Lang’s collection. “It appeals to modern day women who have a sense of flair but at the same time a sophisticated style,” Lulu explains.
Moreover, this collection has been created for elegant and confident women that value exquisite craftsmanship and fine materials, as Lulu believes that every woman should enjoy this gem in its finest quality. Our global readership seems to be of the same opinion: “Every woman should own pearls. I do own a very simple pair of Mikimoto cultured pearl earrings. For me pearls are synonymous with timelessness and eternal elegance…very Audrey Hepburn style!” exclaims a fashionable lawyer in Milan.
Pearls are directly associated with elegance, timelessness, class, emotion, simplicity, and nostalgia and represent the epitome of chic to be exhibited every day or on special occasions. As a French businesswoman says: “I associate pearls with Gabrielle Chanel, my source of inspiration, the Little Black Dress accessorised with a pearl necklace is a ‘sans fautes’ for a chic look.”
“Pearls always look beautiful and classic and upgrade your look to give it a bit of an aristocratic feel. They are fashionable and go well with different outfits and styles – whether it is an elegant look, bohemian or even urban style,” says a pearl lover from Israel while back in London a true fashionista adds: “I wear pearl earrings most days with either suits or smart dresses as they are great for work and also transition nicely to evening wear.”
Most ladies seem to combine different looks with faux pearls and real pearls: “I think you can overload on elegance if you couple pearls with an extravagant outfit, so I combine them with simple, clean-cut pieces,” describes a German hipster. One particular aspect that differentiates Pearl-Lang from other pearl brands is that they have a close link to fashion that is showcased on their dedicated fashion blog meticulously curated with great fashion tips, styles and trends that inspire people and directly connect them with their clientele.
An Investment Piece
Lulu wants to encourage women to wear pearls more often: “We have white round pearls if you are going for a more classic look, or you could wear long multi-coloured strands that are more contemporary. However if you are someone who likes to express your individuality, try our one-of-a-kind baroque pearls. They are truly unique.” Lulu’s designs use precious metals and gemstones such as 18ct gold, sterling silver and diamonds. Her collection includes versatile freshwater pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings ranging from vintage to modern designs perfectly balancing femininity and sophistication.
And for those ladies who do not own pearls and have always favoured contemporary and perhaps more edgy jewellery, Lulu suggests: “[Pearls] come with a wide array of natural colours, shapes and varieties. I think the diversity and the individuality of the pearls is exciting especially for the younger generation who would love to express their personality through timeless elegance with a modern twist.” Lulu concludes:
“To me, elegance is not an old fashioned word… With all the first ladies and the members of the royal families around the world wearing pearls in portraits, I think it became a consensus that this gem is associated with a more conservative and formal look.”
Pearl-Lang is proving that this misconception is not relevant for women today.
Whether you are a pearl connoisseur or maybe just starting to acquire fine jewellery there is a pearl for everyone. A natural gem of fine quality, exclusively designed for you to cherish for a life time and beyond is an elegant affair to be treasured.