Uniquely beautiful, natural saltwater pearls of high quality are remarkably rare; but naturally colored saltwater pearls of this calibre, shape and size are infinitely scarcer. Both the Iridescent Grey Natural Pearl Drop (6.16 carats) and Iridescent Golden Natural Pearl Drop (6.60 carats) have clean skins and a mesmerising high lustre. Unusual not just for their color but also their delightful drop shape, such pearls are seldom seen.
A rare find, these singularly striking gems are now the focal point of these intricately crafted natural pearl and diamond drop earrings. Echoing the delicate motifs of 17th-century Chinese porcelain; each pagoda tier is hand-pierced and fluted on both sides, mirroring the diamond-set fluting of the pearl caps. Fully articulated, the drops’ joyful fluidity is achieved using the finest platinum wire; the precious metal providing both strength and substance, while still affording an incredible lightness on the ear.
By night, light glitters across the subtly iridescent pearls and their detailed diamond accents. However, the classic diamond clips, with their rare white, cushion shape diamonds and interwoven diamond pavé lattice, can also be worn independently. Irresistible earrings in their own right, they too have their roots in the East, being inspired by the Endless Knot: an ancient symbol for good luck, fortune and health. Delivering both subtle high glamour and effortless elegance, these are versatile, unusual jewels, destined to transcend time.
Used for adornment for thousands of years, natural pearls have been prized for longer than written records exist. Regarded in ancient times as crystallised tears of the Gods, fallen from the sky into the oceans; over the centuries many mythical beliefs have accompanied these ‘gems of the sea’. But whether considered a legendary emblem of love, strength, health or luck, the one constant is their symbolic attachment with wealth. Thanks to their rarity, natural pearls have remained the preserve of the noble and wealthy throughout history. Indeed, in Roman times, pearls were so synonymous with affluence and prestige, that Julius Caesar decreed they could only be worn by “those of a designated position and age”.
From the unbridled grandeur of Catherine the Great’s black pearl necklace (The Yusupov), to Coco Chanel’s “ropes and ropes of pearls”, worn with such insouciant style, pearls feature prominently in the world’s most renowned jewelry collections. And while the inferior and commonplace cultured pearl might have diverted attention for a time, natural pearls of significance have always been both highly prized and highly priced.
It can take a wild pearl oyster twenty-five years or more to create a natural, saltwater pearl of 9.0mm. A pearl’s lustre and the thickness and condition of its nacre depend on several factors, including the oyster’s health and the temperature and environment in which it grows. Even in optimum conditions, only one wild oyster out of 100,000 will produce a gem of saleable standard. Historically, the Gulf of Bahrain has been the only established source of natural saltwater pearls of quality. However, in the last 100-years, the supply of pearls grown there has dramatically declined. Pollution, overfishing and rising sea temperatures have caused the demise of the most important source of natural saltwater pearls in the world.
Today, virtually all ‘new’ pearls, including Akoya pearls and South Sea pearls (French Polynesia), are cultured pearls, while natural pearls are invariably vintage in origin. A solid investment for serious jewelry collectors; recent auctions have seen demand for these natural wonders growing in strength, with prices increasing rapidly as a result. The scarcity of natural pearls in the marketplace, together with the lack of any new sources, make these remarkable natural pearl and diamond drop earrings a highly desirable treasure.