Embrace a Modern Twist on Traditional Pearl Jewelry

Woman Wearing Stylish Pearl Earrings and Necklace

Pearl jewelry has been a staple in every woman’s jewelry box for decades, and whether you’re looking for inspiration for styling a family heirloom or you’re on the hunt for a modern gemstone engagement ring, it’s still a favorite of ladies worldwide. With an extensive color palette and an unforgettable shimmering surface, pearls are beloved by jewelry designers and wearers alike—it’s just a matter of finding the perfect style for you.

The Timeless Beauty of Pearl Jewelry

Mikimoto 18K White Gold Black South Sea Pendant Necklace

Romantic, elegant, beautiful—these are just some words that come to mind for pearl jewelry lovers. Throughout time, pearls have been worn by notable female figures, and whether you recognize the style as Queen Elizabeth II’s staple accessory or Jackie Kennedy’s pearl necklace, one thing is certain—they bring out the beauty in everyone. Pearl jewelry has been a consistent trend for centuries—and it’s not going away any time soon. 

Wearing Pearl Jewelry in 2023 

It’s hard to search for stunning jewelry without hearing the popular phrase, “not your grandmother’s pearls”—but why? That insinuates that pearls ever went out of style, but we’re here to tell you that they’ve never left. With contemporary designs and updates to timeless pieces, pearl jewelry continues to be fashionable. 

Most people think of the classic one-strand pearl necklace that their mothers (and their mothers before them) would wear on special occasions. While there will always be a time and place for that beloved design, modern brands make bold choices to adapt the pearl to every woman’s style. From wearing pearl engagement rings to dainty pearl necklaces, you can find a timeless piece for your jewelry box in 2023 and rock it for decades. 

Types of Pearl Jewelry

Whether you’re completing a set or looking for a new staple piece to add to your jewelry box, browse different types of pearl jewelry from high-end designers to find your next look:

  • Pearl necklaces
  • Pearl earrings
  • Pearl rings
  • Pearl bracelets 

The Spiritual Symbolism of Pearl Jewelry

If you trace it back to ancient Greek mythology, it is said that pearls were formed from the tears of Aphrodite, the goddess of love—and they’ve been a symbol of adoration and affection ever since. The complex and rare way pearls are formed led cultures to connect them with good fortune and wealth, so many believe that donning a pearl ring can transform your luck! Pearls have even been used in healing practices to hone inner peace and bring calmness to the wearer.

How Are Pearls Made?

Mikimoto 6.5mm A Akoya Pearl Necklace

Pearls are naturally formed in mollusk shells such as oysters, clams, and mussels in different bodies of water worldwide. Once an irritant, like sand, is trapped inside the mollusk’s shell, the creature coats it with a defense mechanism called nacre over and over until, eventually, a pearl is formed. Over a period of six months or more, pearls are developed slowly and steadily before being harvested for jewelry making.  

These iridescent beauties can be found in the wild or created purposefully when farmers deliberately place an irritant inside a shell. Many pearl jewelry designers harvest these cultured pearls to speed up the process and control the result of each gem. Depending on the piece, your pearl necklace or ring could be made from natural or cultured pearls—it depends on the designer.  

Where Are Natural Pearls Found?

Natural pearls can be found all over the globe, from the coast of Japan to the beaches of Australia—even in the Mississippi River. The primary source of freshwater pearls is China, making up 95% of the market. Designers have their pick of the crop to choose from when selecting pearls for their pieces, and whether you’re searching for Mikimoto pearl jewelry or everyday pieces, you do, too! 

Are Pearls a Rare Gem?

Mikimoto Morning Dew White Gold Akoya A+ Sapphire Ring

In this day and age, natural pearls are rare, with the likelihood of finding one in the wild being 1 in 10,000. Due to their rarity, pearl earrings and bracelets can be more expensive when featuring natural pearls. But if you’re searching for high-quality pearl jewelry within your price range, cultured are an amazing alternative. Whatever your style, there will always be a piece for you, whether you’re sporting a Mikimoto pearl ring or a vintage set. 

How Pearls Get Their Color

While white pearl jewelry is the classic look, pearls are found in a rainbow of colors. The mollusk type and the number and thickness of nacre layers can affect the pearl’s color. That nacre, also known as Mother-of-Pearl, can result in different hues depending on the shell’s environment, leaving the pearl’s color a surprise every time. Occasionally, cultured pearls will be intentionally dyed within the shell to curate similar pearls for a specific piece. 

7 Different Pearl Colors and Their Meanings

Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or treating yourself with an elegant pearl necklace, it’s important to note that each color of pearl has a different intention associated with it.

Be purposeful with your color choice and give a thoughtful gift with these pearls:  

  • White: represents innocence and new beginnings
  • Pink: symbolizes romance and passion
  • Blue: represents trust and courage
  • Yellow: relates to creativity and happiness
  • Black: symbolizes independence and strength
  • Purple: relates to wisdom and nobility
  • Gold: means wealth and prosperity

What is the Pearl Grading Scale?

Mikimoto Morning Dew White Gold Pearl Earrings

Pearls are graded on five qualities: luster, color, shape, surface, and size. Some brands use an A-D grading scale, with A being the best and D being the worst, but the more reputable brands use the AAAA-A pearl grading system.

When you browse different pearl earrings, rings, bracelets, and more, the grade will be in the description or product title to let you know the quality of the piece you’re looking at. Mikimoto pearls and other high-end designers use this scale to determine the value of a pearl before designing and the price tag of the finished product. 

The AAAA-A Pearl Grading Scale:

  • AAAA: the pearl is perfectly round, has a high luster, and is damage-free
  • AAA: the pearl is nearly round, with high luster and a damage-free surface 
  • AA: the pearl is slightly off-round, with a high luster and mostly blemish-free surface
  • A: the pearl is low luster with a larger amount of surface defects

Pearl Birthstone Jewelry

Mikimoto 18K Yellow Gold Pearl Drop Earrings with Diamonds

The pearl is one (of three) June birthstones. Whether you are searching for a gorgeous pearl necklace as a treat-yourself gift for your birthday or celebrating a 30th wedding anniversary with your Gemini partner, stunning pearl jewelry makes an unforgettable present. 

Do Pearls Make Good Engagement Rings?

Natural pearls are as rare as diamonds, and with a look that never goes out of style and countless ways to incorporate the gem into designs, many people choose to wear pearl engagement rings over other styles. With various colors to choose from, modern brides can sport a pearl ring that matches their favorite diamond wedding band

Pearl rings can be worn as everyday engagement pieces as long as the wearer understands that they rank low on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them more vulnerable and susceptible to damage. Where the traditional diamond ranks at a 10, pearls sit at a 2.5. But don’t let that scare you off—with the right care and proper storage, pearl engagement rings are stylish and can be worn for years without issues.  

Wearing Designer Pearl Jewelry

Sabel Pearl Near Round Pearl Earrings

For centuries, pearl pieces have been a staple in women’s jewelry boxes for a reason—so why not invest in a designer piece? With quality, durable metals, and high-graded pearls, every style of designer pearl jewelry is made with longevity and beauty in mind.

The quality is better overall, the shine and glam of a designer pearl piece never dull, and every design feels luxurious. Whether searching for our in-house-designed Sabel pearl earrings or falling in love with the striking Mikimoto pearl designs, investing in well-made jewelry by celebrated jewelry makers is an investment in your style.    

Discover Mikimoto Pearl Jewelry

Mikimoto has been making waves in the pearl jewelry business for over a hundred years, since his discovery of cultured pearls in 1893. Mikimoto pearl jewelry has been one of the most sought-after designer pearl brands, with each piece perfectly blending style, elegance, and modernity. Mikimoto pearls are the go-to option if you’re looking for a trustworthy designer brand that never misses the mark. 

Popular Mikimoto Pearl Jewelry:

Mikimoto Necklace, Bracelet, and Earring Set

Between sparkling pearl earrings and elegant matching sets, choose a Mikimoto pearl design you’ll love to style for years to come:

Where Can You Wear Pearl Jewelry?

Pearls can be worn anywhere, for any occasion, as long as you know how to style them. You can take a note from past generations’ books and save your favorite pearl necklace for a special occasion, or you can wear dainty pearl earrings as an everyday accessory—the choice is yours! When you find pearls you love, incorporating them into your style is simple.  

3 Chic Ways to Style Pearl Jewelry

There are endless ways to show off your favorite pearl pieces, but it’s easy to get stuck when styling yourself at home. From classic pairings to mixing them with other everyday pieces, find inspiration with these tasteful and trendy tips:

1. Wear a Matching Pearl Set

LAGOS Luna Pearl Stud Earrings

When you find a gem you love, there’s nothing more powerful than wearing a matching set. Whether hosting a cocktail party or glamming up for a night on the town, a matching set of pearl earrings, rings, and a necklace pull your look together and show the world you know your fashion. Experiment with different lengths of earrings, from stud pearl earrings to dangle pearl earrings, as well as the necklace length and pendant style to customize your look every time. 

2. Sport a Simple Pearl Pendant 

For minimal effort and maximum stylish payoff, you can decide to wear the same pearl necklace every day. Choosing a staple pendant necklace means you will always know what accessory you’ll put on before leaving the house, helping you feel put together and beautiful no matter what’s on your to-do list today. Try a classic with a beaded pearl necklace, or go for a minimal approach with a simple chain and small pearl pendant. 

3. Layer a Pearl Necklace

Sabel Collection Yellow Gold Pearl and Diamond Pendant

With the rise of pearl popularity comes modern styling, and what’s more on-trend than layered necklaces? To prominently feature your pearl chain, place it in the middle layer of the stack. Put together a cohesive look by featuring different chains of the same type of metal, or be bold and mix your metals for a contemporary look. 

The Proper Way to Care for Pearl Jewelry

Pearls are fascinating gems, but they do require certain upkeep and pearl care tips. But don’t worry; caring for your pearls isn’t as daunting as one may think. Soon, the way you store and handle your precious pearl pieces will become old hat.

Since they were formed by living organisms residing in water, pearls are naturally porous. It is vital to take them off around liquid, whether you’re swimming, washing your hands, or sweating at the gym. Avoid harsh household chemicals or fragrant hand soaps to prevent any product from disrupting the surface of a pearl. If these instances occur, find a reputable jewelry repair team and bring your piece in.

Sabel Pearl 14K Yellow Gold White Ming Pearl and Diamond Dangle Earrings

When storing pearl jewelry, remember that pearls can be easily scratched by other metal jewelry. Tuck them away separately in a soft container, such as a cloth bag, to protect them from damage. When it does come time to put them on, let any perfume or lotion dry before donning your pearls to leave the house. 

Between flaunting a pearl engagement ring to match your perfect women’s wedding band and finding a new spin on the classic strand of pearls from past generations of women, there are endless ways to dress up and down with pearl jewelry. Shop high-end designers like Mikimoto pearl pieces or learn to style family hand-downs—however you do it, feel beautiful in contemporary and timeless pearl designs for years to come!