A peek in the window at some very appealing pearls, at especially tempting prices.
First, Pearl Paradise, who sometimes offer how-do-they-do-it specials on classic pearls. This month, 8mm-9mm South Sea studs set in 14k yellow gold for $261, with free shipping for mainland US customers.
The poshest of saltwater pearls at an outstanding price, in time for its June birthstone status, if you need an excuse. These would also make a you-shouldn't-have gift.
In an entirely different register, Kojima Company's Kasumi drops; not a "Kasumi-like" pearl, but the real Japanese-cultivated deal, set in 14k goldfill, with silver accent.
Price, $207 (so with shipping, about the same as the PP South Seas.) A dramatic, lavish (13.2mm!) earring for women who like colourful, unusual pearls, or the more casual look of silver.
Tahitians are hard to find at bargain prices, and too often those under $500 or so per pair are dull and taupey. If you long for these deep delights, first acquaint yourself with stellar examples, and check out Gump's, who sell this elegant pair of 9mm-10mm drops set in white 14k gold for $800. (Not a prohibitive price, either.)
Use that as your benchmark pearl and don't drop your standards, because a Tahitian without overtones is like George Clooney without his tux: handsome, but not exciting.
Sarah Canizzaro, owner of Kojima Company, always describes her Tahitians accurately, and will search for you if you have a Tahitian colour dream, like cherry overtones.
So, she describes these drops honestly: they have a colour gradation in peacock tones, a little banding and some very slight, tiny dimples, which to me say "can only be real" and add to the organic effect of this beloved variety. Set in 14k yellow gold, 11mm, and best of all: price, $396.
Pearls are versatile; coloured stones, while breathtaking, demand more thought. Like diamonds, pearls 'go' with everything, by day or evening. You can pile them on à la Coco Chanel, or wear only those South Sea studs, a murmur of elegance. They also coordinate faultlessly with your coloured jewelry, from enamel to gemstones to glass.
Finally, if treated with care, pearls will give lifelong pleasure, retaining their lustre and allure. If you choose earrings, you can have beautiful pearls that really do light your face, for the price of a few jars of cream that turn out to not do anything but remind you of wasted money.