La Peregrina – the pilgrim pearl

image (17)Happy Easter from all of us here at Coleman Douglas Pearls! The majority of you will have all headed on your travels to make the most of this fabulous long weekend, either on a holiday abroad or to visit family. We thought it would be the perfect time to tell our own Easter story – the one of the wandering, pilgrim pearl, La Peregrina. This amazing pearl has a fascinating history and has traveled the globe, changing hands regularly – with some of those hands being very well known…..

La-Peregrina-pearl-Elizabeth-Taylor-close-up-250La Peregrina was discovered in the mid 16th Century off the isle of Santa Margarita in the Gulf of Panama, by an African slave who was awarded his freedom when he handed it in. La Peregrina then travelled the world to Spain, the UK (Mary Tudor owned it for a while) and back to America when it was bought at auction by Richard Burton for his wife Elizabeth Taylor, a lady famed for her jewellery collection! Cartier were commissioned to redesign the necklace, pairing La Peregrina with diamonds and rubies. After Taylor’s death the necklace was sold for a record price of £7.1 million, and so the wandering pearl’s journey continues.

If your not lucky enough to be jetting off this Easter here are some fun events happening around London that may make it more bearable. You all will have heard of The Boat Race which takes place on Easter Sunday BUT have you ever heard of the Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race? Neither had we but this annual event is gaining in popularity as spectators head to Spitalfields City Farm to see two goats battle it out.

Chocolate Market at Duke of York Square

Or how about heading to Duke of York Square on Saturday 26th March for their Chocolate market? Visit all the different stalls selling their delicious chocolate goodies from Easter eggs to hot chocolate, this is a chocoholics paradise! What a perfect place to overindulge, after all its only Easter once a year!

Tah prl ringAnd if you have eaten enough chocolate to sink a rowing boat head to our London pearl store in 42 Beauchamp Place. Treat your self to some inedible goodies in the form of this eggcellent Tahitian egg shaped ring! Perfect for those who fancy giving the chocolate coma a miss this year.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told…

Shakespeare 1
The greatest love story ever told… It can only be Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
‘Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’ – Romeo
This September marks the 50th anniversary of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet ballet masterpiece, with ballet companies around the country performing it, and members of the public, including a few members of our Pearl Company, racing to see it.

tower of london 5During Shakespeare’s life he had several patrons, one of his most famous being Elizabeth I, aka The Pearl Girl!
Never seen without a strand or two/three/ten, Elizabeth I, would do anything to get her hand on pearls. Kill, ‘borrow’ or take, no pearl was ‘safe’!

In this painting you can see from the magnitude of pearls being worn how much she desired them.
But did you know that Elizabeth I also wore imitation pearls?
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Wax filled Venetian glass beads with an iridescent finish were sewn onto her dress to look like ‘pearls’.

They were the first pearl impostors of the time each costing 1 penny.

The first imitation ‘pearls’, as we know it today, were created in France by Mr Jacquin who concentrated fish slime from a Bleak and mixed it with varnish in the 17th Century and called it “Essence of Orient”. This method is still used to this day to make man made fish slime covered plastic beads. The fish slime that is used nowadays comes from Salmon and Herring.

Pearl Talk imageDon’t fall into the trap of buying imitation ‘pearls’, book a place on one of our Pearl Talks happening throughout the year. Chrissie Douglas, our In-House Pearl Specialist will guide you through several techniques that will enable you to clearly distinguish between real pearls and imitation beads.

For no girl should be wearing fish slime around her neck!

Have you seen The Tower?

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When you think of a Tower does The Shard spring to mind? Maybe the story of Rapunzel and her extraordinary long hair. Then again how about The Tower of London…
This historic landmark was a prison and last home to several well known characters through history. For example the Duke of Clarence, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, and Anne Boleyn and her magnificent pearl necklace.
More recently it has been home to the art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, which marks one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the Fist World War.
tower of london 2The ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper created the installation with each ceramic poppy representing a British military fatality during the First World War.
Our Pearl Specialist , Chrissie Douglas, visited this extraordinarily moving installation and reflected on some of her ancestors lives lost in the “Great War” lives she knows about purely through family pictures and posthumous medals.
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The Tower of London for the most part of it’s ‘life’ has been at the center of pain and sorrow, seeing its’ inhabitants come and go as fast as Henry VIII wives or faster still.
However, there is one permanent tenant…The Crown Jewels.

Pearls, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, the list goes on.
The perfect ‘sweety shop’ for every girl!
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A few pearls that particularly stand out for us are the Hanoverian Pearls.

Featured in the famous ‘Armada portrait’ of 1588, they adorn Elizabeth I; proudly displaying her wealth, wisdom, purity and beauty.

Queen Elizabeth I bought these pearls for 12,000 crowns during her reign using treasury money. A few hundred years later the English crown became part of the House of Hanover,  these beautiful and priceless pearls continue to be in the possession of all the reigning English monarchs to this day.
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The term “Hanoverian Pearls” comes from the dispute arising between Germany and Great Britain over the claim laid on their ownership, as the current ruling English monarchs are descendants from the house of Hanover. Germany laid a claim on these pearls as they argued that any family jewels which were passed on during the transition time in the British monarchy should rightfully belong to Germany, thankfully it was proved that the money that acquired these pearls came from the treasury and therefore rightfully belong to Great Britain and are likely to stay on these shores.

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Fancy collecting your own pearl treasure?

Our Pearl Showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX, is full of breath-taking pearls strung in an array of designs. From Biker Chic pearls to the Twin-set and Pearl look…
Coleman Douglas Pearls has it all!

Easter Eggs…..Easter Pearls

easter egg winsow‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ – a saying that haunts us every time we reach for another bite of that delicious, mouth watering chocolate Egg!
This year instead of purchasing chocolate eggs that will, let’s be honest not last more than a day, choose pearls that will last forever!
Take a look at our new window display, full of stunning pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets, pearl earrings and pearl accessories to inspire you this Easter.

Pearls have been highly desired since the beginning of civilisation, with their history full of symbolism and romance.
With style leaders throughout time, such as Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Anna Wintor, Duchess of Cambridge and Rihanna, favouring them.

Pearl Family 4If you fancy joining the women above then take a gander at our Easter Pearl Gift selection.

No young girl should be without her freshwater pearl and brightly coloured ribbon spacer.
Available in a wide variety of ribbon colours, that range from light pastel to deep richly coloured ribbon.

The pearl spacers can be worn in a variety of different ways, as a necklace, bracelet or hair-band.

How about an elegant pair of pink EASTER pink studsfreshwater pearl studs?
These timeless classic studs come in white, grey, copper and peacock black. Easy to dress up and down, these earrings will become an all time essential ingredient to getting dressed.

cu1261 BRIDEFor the men of the household we have some smart sterling silver ‘Figure of Eight’ pearl cufflinks, with a white and peacock black freshwater pearl in each cup.

If you would like to see more of our Easter Pearl Collection call into our Pearl Showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.

Fashion

Coleman Douglas PearlsAs London fashion week begins all eyes will be on the catwalks trying to catch a glimpse of the new upcoming trends for Autumn/Winter. For instance the futuristic Nokia Phone skirt that was revealed yesterday!
Over the years we have seen fashion trends come and go but one thing that has never changed is the alluring beauty and seduction of PEARLS. Throughout the ages pearls have always been highly desired, causing people to go to great lengths, even murder (Elizabeth I) to acquire more.
Symbolising purity, wisdom, beauty and wealth, men and women alike would adorn themselves in pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets and pearl earrings.

Over the course of history designers have worked with “their take on pearls”. From altering the length of necklaces and earrings, to adding multiple strands to create ‘knockout’ jewellery.
Within the last century there were some key trends that are still popular today.

Coleman Douglas PearlsThe 1920s Trend
‘A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.’ – Coco Chanel

Watch the film ‘The Great Gatsby’ this will allow you to see a feast of long pearl ropes and multi-strand pearl bracelets.

Our ‘Coco’ necklace, is made up of white freshwater pearls with freshwater seed pearl spacers. This necklace has a playful slant on the classic 1920s pearl rope.

The 1940s Trend
‘Pearl are always appropriate.’ Coleman Douglas Pearls– Jacqueline Kennedy

Don a large pair of pearl studs and a single or double pearl row necklace, like Jacqueline Kennedy, and you too will be ready to take on The White House! We have a large selection of Freshwater Pearl, Akoya Pearl and South Sea Pearl studs to choose from.

Coleman Douglas PearlsThe 1980s Trend
‘Pearls are a mainstay and immune to the vagaries of fashion.’ – Chrissie Douglas
When we think of the the 1980s Madonna springs to mind wearing leather, denim and fish net clothing. The era of rebellious fashion!
Our ‘Warrior’ collection, made using black leather and Tahitian Pearls or black leather and black Freshwater Pearls, has been knotted together to form a barbed wire look, that transforms the ‘classic pearl’ idea into an eye-catching, edgy statement.

The 2000+ Trends
‘Pearls are never boring…how Coleman Douglas Pearlscould they be? They enhance their wearers natural beauty and flair.’ Chrissie Douglas

Since the year 2000 fashion designers have been pushing the boundaries of fashion by using unusual materials, colours and dress shapes.
In Chanel’ Spring/Summer 2014 ‘offbeat’ show we saw Cara Delevingne wearing a brightly coloured ‘colour chat’ dress, a complete contrast to their signature white and black tailored collections.
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Our ‘Light as a Feather’ collection is an example of how we have included unusual, exciting materials to add ‘flair’ to the classic pearl necklace or bracelet. The contrasting black and white ostrich feathers and Freshwater Pearls create dramatic, eye-catching jewellery.

To see more of our pearl jewellery or to enquire about our bespoke service, re-stringing and re-designing services, call into our Pearl Showroom located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.

Inner and Outer well being.

Coleman Douglas Pearls
Still trying to decide what to give your family and friends this Christmas?
Here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we have pearl jewellery suitable for everyone, no matter what the age.
Pearl cufflinks for the men.
Pearl necklaces for the ladies.
Pearl earrings for the girls.
Pearl bracelets for the friends.
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Pearls are the oldest gem known to man, being wore by men and women alike. Symbolising purity, wisdom, beauty and wealth, they are the perfect present to give and receive.

Many style leaders throughout time have favored pearls. From Royals, such as Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge, to Coco Chanel, Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie. Showing that whatever your style is, pearls are always suitable.
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But why are pearls so popular?
The main beauty of pearls lies in the fact that they enhance the beauty of their wearer.

How does this happen?
It is all down to light. Light gets refracted into the pearls and then reflected back out onto the wearer, giving him or her a soft delicate uplift of light.
This beauty secret has been recognised since the beginning of civilisation with world leaders doing pretty much anything, even murder, to get there hands on pearls.

Our Pearl Showroom, Coleman Douglas Pearlslocated at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX, is full of stunning pearl jewellery collections ready to be purchased, allowing you the opportunity to own beautiful pearls without having to murder someone!

There is still time to take advantage of our Bespoke service before Christmas. Make an appointment with our Designer and Pearl Specialist, Chrissie Douglas, and make your dream jewellery a reality.

We now know how to look fabulous on the outside but how can we feel good on the inside?
The Capital
Located just round the corner from us is The Capital, a lovely 5 star family owned Hotel that serve one of the best Christmas teas in London!
The scrumptious sandwiches, homemade pastries, scones and delicious jams, all made by their Pastry Chef, are truly divine!

So if you are looking for The Christmas Tea in London, then pop over to The Capital, located at 22 Basil Street, London, SW3 1AT.

We hope you have a delicious Christmas inside and out this year!

Designed & Made in England!

Coleman Douglas PearlsWhen you think of England what springs to mind? The Queen, red buses, Big Ben, …Pearls? …Coleman Douglas Pearls?!
All our pearl jewellery is designed and made in London at our Pearl Showroom. Come visit us and hear all about the inspiration behind each of our pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets and pearl earrings.

Did you know that you can still find stunning natural pearls in England? …Scotland to be specific!
The beauty of these natural pearls were well known in ancient times, with many historians claiming that it was these stunning pearls that contributed to Julius Caesar invading England.

If you look back iElizabeth I - Armada Portraitn history at the portraits of our Royal family, they show a feast of pearls adorning both the men and women alike.
Elizabeth I in particular was a ‘Pearl’a’holic’, stopping at nothing to attain more pearls.
As you can see from the Armada Portrait Elizabeth I is wearing pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, a pearl headdress and pearl encrusted clothing.

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Our current royal family shows that this pearl ‘trend’ is far from over, with Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Princess Royal and The Duchess of Cambridge continuously being seen with pearls.

Queen Elizabeth II is always wearing her gorgeous multi-strand natural pearl necklace, accompanied by her beautiful large white pearl stud earrings with diamond detail, while HRH The Princess Royal visited Coleman Douglas Pearls where Chrissie Douglas, our Pearl Specialist and Designer, and her shared their love of pearls.Coleman Douglas Pearls

So will this pearl ‘trend’ ever end? No!
The reason pearls will never go out of fashion is because they enhance their wearer.
As light touches the pearl it passes through the multiple layers of nacre before before being reflected back out, giving a subtle, soft up-light onto the face above.

Pearls make one feel as if they are part and parcel of every day dressing sensibly. They are not solely glitzy adornments but ones which are accessible to everyone, and so they should be.’ – Jenny Kingsley

Coleman Douglas PearlsIf you would like to join these women in wearing pearls then come to Coleman Douglas Pearls, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX, where a member of our Pearl Team will help you find the perfect pearls to suit your lifestyle.
Whether your look is ‘Twin-Set and Pearl‘ or ‘High Fashion‘ we will find you the perfect pearls!

Are you Ready?!

Coleman Douglas Pearls
This weekend looks to be anything but relaxed! What with the Wimbledon and Henley finals.
How are you going to cope?!
First things first, throw out the worry beads and put on those Pearls, you might as well look beautiful and stylish while coping with the intense competition unfolding on screen!

Pearls are known for Coleman Douglas Pearlsbeing a symbol of purity, wisdom, beauty and wealth, but the main beauty of pearls lie in the fact that they glow and therefore enharnce their wearer’s beauty.
This has been recognised since the beginning of civilisation with style leaders throughout time, such as Cleopatra, Mary Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, the late Princess Diana, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anna Wintour and Angelina Jolie all favouring pearls.

‘I feel undressed if I don’t have my pearls on. My pearls are my security blanket.’ – Lady Sarah Churchill

Rihanna wearing pearlsIt seems that Rihanna agrees with the quote from Lady Sarah Churchill, turning up at the Chanel show on Wednesday in just an oversized cardigan and multiple pearl strands!
In Vanity Fair Rihanna’s outfit was described as “several strands of pearls, last night’s smoky eye, and … what appears to be a barely buttoned nightgown.”

Pearls have the ability to look perfect with anything from jeans to a red carpet dress.’ – Chrissie Douglas

Now we do not suggest that Coleman Douglas Pearlsyou start waltzing around outside in a ‘barely buttoned nightgown’, but we do encourage you to wear your pearls as much as possible, as the natural oils in your skin help to keep the pearls moisturised.

If you would like to learn more about how to preserve the life of your pearls, how and where pearls are made, the different varieties of pearls, how to choose the best pearls for you and much more, then join us for one of our Pearl Talks happening throughout the year at our Pearl Showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.

Good morning Akoya Pearls!

Coleman Douglas Pearls
Fancy yourself in PEARLS?
Well get in line!
Style leaders throughout history have been lusting after them. From Cleopatra to Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe to Anna Wintour!

‘I keep a strand of pearls in my purse, and throw them on whenever I need to dress up my outfit.’ – Taylor Swift

When you think of pearls you Coleman Douglas Pearlsprobably think of the classic ‘Twin set and Pearl’ look.
Akoya Pearls are perfect for this classic style.
Ranging in size from 3mm to 10mm, these pearls are formed in Oysters.
Taking a spherical mother of pearl bead, it is implanted into the oyster alongside an epithelial cell graft.
Akoya pearl bearing oysters must be around 3 years old before they are able to host a pearl successfully.

Coleman Douglas PearlsAkoya pearls are normally found in all shades of white from very pure white through pale pink to golden tones.

We have a wonderful array of Akoya Pearl strands in a variety of different colour tones and pearl sizes.
Come to our Pearl Showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX, where a member of our Pearl Team will be happy to guide you around all the different designs.
Akoya Pearl Earrings
Do you have jewellery that you never wear?
Jewellery that needs re-stringing?
Jewellery designs that you wish existed?
If so make an appointment with our Designer and begin to take pleasure in wearing the jewellery again.

With a week to go till Father’s Day time is running out to find that perfect gift.

Coleman Douglas PearlsInstead of buying him another book that he will read and then throw away, why not purchase a pair of simple, elegant pearl cufflinks.
Made out of sterling silver with a freshwater pearl, these cufflinks are a lovely alternative to the plain metallic ones he usually wears.

For more Father’s Day gift ideas call into our Pearl Showroom or check out our ‘Pearls for Men‘ collection on our website.