Commenter spacegeek wondered why I didn't steer my friend R. toward the  unusual pearls from Kojima Company

Because, I replied, those pearls are not "her". Pearls have distinct personalities; the right variety simply sings on you. A consideration of pearl-sonalities helps you to assess the pearls you have or choose a new strand.

Grace: South Sea round
R. wants Grace Kelly pearls, luminous round whites that echo her "lady" style. 

And grace is what you get in this slightly graduated strand of white South Seas, 10.2mm to 12.4mm. An 18-inch strand is $3,600 from Pearl Paradise.

Angelina: Huge metallic flameball
These stupendous baroques are Angelina Jolie pearls, glamorous and capable of  traipsing the world in a suit or sarong. They flash silver, biscuit and white, with intense lustre and metallic orient for days. From Kojima Company; price, $1,890 for a 37-inch strand of 13mm-14mm pearls. 

Julia: Bronze semi-baroque

This bronze freshwater strand from Gump's? So Julia Roberts. The 10mm-11mm shape is semi-baroque (round but bumply), the colour a soft bronze. The ball clasp is matte gold and diamond, très raffinée. Price, $1,500 for an 18-inch necklace. 

A strand as effervescent as Julia's smile.

Rachel: Blue Akoya round
Blue Akoyas are marvelous pearls. I almost didn't show these because the silvery-blue colour shifts with the light, so is tricky to photograph. 

The kind of woman who wears an emerald-cut diamond might choose this 9mm-10mm 18-inch necklace from Gump's. The Rachel Weisz of pearls: classy, subtly sexy, assured. Price, $2,500.

Tilda: Sea of Cortez semi-baroque
A certain woman not only breaks the mold, she sculpted it. Her pearl: eccentric, rare, mysterious.

The Tilda Swinton pearl: Sea of Cortez from the Gulf of California, unclassifiable by casual onlookers, just like Swinton. 

This strand of 39 8.8mm-10.5mm pearls is from Carolyn Ehret, who sells on eBay (surprise!) to a devoted clientele. Overtones of pink, green, teal, aqua, bronze and more. BIN price, $3,500.

Audrey: Natural pearl
Natural or wild pearls, formed without implants, are rare and prized. Sarah Canizzaro of Kojima Company has created a necklace of entirely wild pearls–white, peach, pink and steel blue–collected over years. Handmade 22k bead spacers; 14k hook clasp.

The pearls are small (3mm-5mm) but their beauty and singularity create presence. Price, $965. This is the pearl-sonality of a natural, uncontrived beauty: Audrey Tautou.

Pearl-sonality is the interplay of the pearl variety, the design of the piece and the glow it radiates on you.

Though I've shown some pricier pearls here, many freshwater strands with similar allure need not cost more than ah, some of the boots a few of you have been buying.

Though I admire boots too, when they're in the back of the closet, you'll still be wearing your pearls!


Pat said…
I am going to show my ignorance here, but are there any cultured pearls that would be good pieces and more affordable? I love pearls, but I would never be able to justify the prices (too practical). I certainly enjoy the education you are doing with the pearls.
Marguerite said…
Just beautiful, Duchesse. Thanks for the education on the perla. I will be visiting Florence, Italy in January. Do you have any thoughts on purchases there? Anybody else have comments or suggestions?
Susan B said…
Absolutely brilliant post, Duchesse!! I think you've captures "pearlsonalities" to a T.
Duchesse said…
Pat: I regularly feature lower-priced perals and so many superb ones are availalble, see this recent post:

Also, check the monthly specials at Pearl Paradise. The return policy is perfect and the pearls, on the classic side, well-priced.

Marguerite: The Italians are expert goldsmiths and also design stunning enamel pieces, aside from gems. Research gold prices, and stay away from big brands (for which you pay a premium.) (Don't judge price strictly by gold weight, it is only around 30% of the price, the rest is workmanship.)

Pseu: Thank you, I love encouragement for pearl posts.
materfamilias said…
Interesting -- I wonder if the reverse is true, that you can tell something of our personalities by the choices we'd make from this selection. I'm drawn to the Julia and to the Tilda . . . rather different personalities themselves, of course, and neither are like the pearls I own. Hmmmm, perhaps that means I need to do some shopping. Window only, of course. . .
M. said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mardel said…
Fabulous post and gorgeous pearls. I share the same question as Mater, as I am quite drawn to the Angelina and the Tilda strands.

Your post did help me clarify one thing though. I have long admired, in theory at least, large perfect round strands, and I was recently looking admiring a strand of tahitians at a jewelers. They were rather large, a double strand with purple and green overtones which looked gorgeous with my skin. I long thought I wanted such a strand but I couldn't bring myself to buy them. My gut told me they were too classic for me, that I have wanted them the way one wishes one were more this or more that, as if by putting them on I could assume a different role. Reading your post reminds me that I made the right decision for me.
I have many of these personality pearls already!
I now covet the Tilda' fact, my local jeweler has a ravishing set which I have placed on my wish list...a girl can dream!

you, my dear, are such a temptress!
the advertising world loves your gifts!
Duchesse said…
materfamilias: Yes, I think so (big wink)! Tilda/Julia both have a breezy elegance; you could wear both of 'their' strands with your wonderful opera dress and your funky tops.

mardel: I have a strand of fancy colour Tahitian baroques, not perfect rounds, they go with everything. A pendant or tin cup style is another chic (and reasonably priced) way to wear Tahitians more casually.

Saw a woman at a party last week with a lariat of fine gold chain, one big golden South Sea at the neck and one more at the end of the lariat, worn with jeans, terrific!

hostess: Earrings or a pendant puts them in reach sooner :)
Belle de Ville said…
I love the way that you linked the different styles of pearls to different actresses. Well done.
Mardel said…
Duchesse, I think if the pearls I saw had been baroque I would not have hesitated, it was the perfect round shape that made me question them. I may not be as attracted to perfect round pearls as I thought I was, or I may change my mind.
Mardel said…
Or perhaps it was the conservative short length...
There are so many variables and my life right now gives me little opportunity to indulge in dressier items.
Duchesse said…
mardel: Baroques as they can go in either direction, rounds look more conservative and 'lady'. Length is important too, as you noted. (And I am also loving keshis these days.)
Rubiatonta said…
I love your pearl posts, too!

You've inspired me to "christen" the grey pearl drop earrings that Mama Rubi brought back to me from Shanghai. I'll have to build an outfit around them for tomorrow...
Duchesse said…
Rubi: Ohhh I would love to see those. A generous mama!
Sarah Canizzaro said…
By far .. your best pearl post to date! I have so many pearl personalities.. I think I need a soft glowing white room!
I love that your ability to include all these beauties... and show that there is a woman for every pearl... and vice versa!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the comparisons.
I'm still not sure what I would choose if the answer weren't 'all of the above'. Could you come up with a "Gentle Gwenyth/Strict" suggestion. I feel curious about the lariat with jeans. Could you suggest. Hopefully the pearl discussion isn't finished.
Duchesse said…
Anonymous: Of what I've shown, blue akoyas.
or these

Did part of your request ("could you suggest")get cut off? If you are looking for lariats, here is a gorgeous one:


The shape of this long white pearl pendant also compliments the discretion of 'strict', on a chain or silk cord:

A jeweler can make a lariat from a pair of pearls (see Kojima Company's Loose pearls section.) I see the pearl lariat as very Gwyneth: discreet but certainly not boring, if the pearls are beautiful.

Sarah: Occupational hazard, I guess! And from the woman with a pearl coronet ;)
Anonymous said…
The reference "or these" regarding the blue akoyas is missing. Would you mind listing it again.
Thank you for your help.
Duchesse said…
Anopnymous: I don;t find an "or these' in the blue akoya section of this post; you can find the pearls pictured here:
LPC said…
I love this construct:).

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