Pearls are my favourite gem, but the 6 or 7 mm Akoyas some of us were were given for our graduation or wedding are dated and bitsy. The photos on the left, from the March 18, 2008 online New York Times Style section, present pearls with grit, wit and substance. Prices range from a relatively modest $1,450 (all prices in US dollars) for the Janis by Janis Savitt piece (top right) to the necklace on the lower left by David Yurman, $25,000.
Beats the stuffings out of your sentimental, safe strand, but what about those of us on a kir budget?
Below, two more affordable styles by the Los Angeles-based designer Zara Scoville, from her site, Priceless Imperfection, www.pricelessimperfection.com. She uses 'dirty pearls', odd shapes with colour variations, the wildly irridescent Kasumi and some quirky Tahitians instead of the often-bleached, shiny white but lifeless Akoyas. Zara's are organic gems that breathe.
Look at the glow, the play of colour, the fresh treatment. These would be stunning near gray hair.
Top photo, Rustic Royalty necklace, about $300, and bottom, Z1 necklace, about $500 depending on the size and quality of the pearls. Whatever your price point, these pieces are treasures of nature from the hands of an artist.