A pearl of a gift

2 minute read | Share

Why not gift some pearl jewellery and create an heirloom for future generations?

It was French fashion designer Coco Chanel who was believed to have said of pearls, “why wear one string when you could wear two?” And, with Mothering Sunday on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to take the hint from Chanel and find out more about the timeless appeal of pearls.

As opposed to other gemstones like diamonds or sapphires forged deep within the Earth’s crust, a pearl is a natural organic gemstone. That means it was formed entirely through biological processes within several different types of living molluscs such as oysters, mussels and even snails. You might be lucky enough to find a pearl if you happen to be diving for oysters. But naturally occurring pearls like these are rare and more expensive – naturally! – which means most of the pearls on the market are cultured or farmed from oysters and freshwater mussels.


Mikimoto Classic Collection Akoya Pearl Necklace with Signature Clasp

South Sea sparkle

The largest and most prized cultured pearls are South Sea pearls which are farmed in various parts of the world including Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Tahitian pearls – frequently called black pearls – are also highly valued because the culturing process means they can’t be mass produced.

Pearls can come in many different colours too: white, and more recently black, while other colour tints can be found like pink, blue, champagne, green, and even purple saltwater pearls.

Unlike other necklaces, pearls have their own vocabulary when it comes to referring to their length which indicates how long they hang when worn around the neck. Sizes range from a ‘collar’ which does not hang down the neck, through to a ‘pearl choker’ which nestles at the base of the neck, and the longest being a ‘pearl rope’ which measures more than 115cm in length – Chanel might have found two strings of that length a challenge! But whatever size you choose, pearls can be worn with formal wear, or look just as great adding a touch of class to casual jeans and a shirt.


Mikimoto Heart Pendant

A Mikimoto pearl

If you love the idea of gifting some pearl jewellery – or treating yourself – Cheltenham based family jeweller Martin & Co is an Official Authorised Stockist of Mikimoto pearls. Kokichi Mikimoto successfully created the world's first cultured pearls in Japan in 1893, and the company he founded is now the leading producer of the finest quality cultured pearls, offering a stunning range of pendants, necklaces, earrings and rings.


Mikimoto Heart Earrings