Following on from our last blog, we continue to supply you with top tips on how to recognise natural pearls.
Natural pearls are RARE
The rarity value means that the price a natural pearl commands is usually ten times the price of its cultured counterpart unless the pearl in question is particularly large, of a sought after shape or has been worn by celebrities as is the case of La Peregrina in which case it can go through the roof.
The IT factor natural pearl
One of the most famous seawater natural pearls is La Peregrina a drop shape natural pearl which was discovered in the Americas, it was given by Phillip II of Spain to Mary Tudor as a wedding gift. On her death it returned to Spain and was taken to France. Prince Louis Napoleon sold it to the marquis of Abercorn in 1837, the marquis’s son, drilled La Peregrina and recorded its exact weight, 10.192 grams [ over 50 carats in weight]. When, in 1969, Elizabeth Taylor bought a pearl reputed to be the Peregrina for $37,000, its authenticity was challenged. However, due to the exact record of its weight being kept, experts were able to confirm that it was indeed the famous pearl. It was recently sold again by Christies Auction House, for 10 million dollars plus saleroom fees! Goes to show what celebrity status can do for a pearls perceived value.
Oysters get Blisters!
Natural oyster blister pearls can be started by a parasite like a crab that settles in the shell, or a worm that drills through the oyster shell and dies, or larva that obstructs a duct within the shell becomes infected and is then covered with the epithelial cells that protect the mollusc. These pearls have a flat surface on one side because they have been grown on the inside of the shell.
Natural pearls which are 2mm in diameter or smaller are called seed pearls, they were particularly popular in Victorian times, on “parures” a set of necklace bracelets and earrings. Which were tiny pearls sewn onto mother of pearl ornamental shapes and strewn together. Horse hair was used to string the pearls, the horse had to be alive when hairs were plucked from its tail for longest durability and flexibility. The drill holes on these pearls are tiny and only maidens were allowed to make these popular Victorian jewellery sets, presumably because it was only very young eyes who could see well enough to stitch these pearls onto the mother of pearl backs. Dust pearls are also around and as their name implies they are but specks of irritation, not really worth bothering with.
One more blog to come on the this beautiful gem – the natural pearl!
We have a dedicated team at Coleman Douglas Pearls to assist you in finding the perfect pearl jewellery for every occasion, selecting specific designs that will allow you to wear the jewellery in various ways giving you ultimate versatility and choosing the perfect classic pearls. Our latest theme is called “What is your colour” because we all have a optimum set of colours, although all pearls will look good, the right colour will have an extraordinary effect of lighting up your eyes. The optimum colour is to do with skin tone, lip undertone, eye colour and whether you tan well or not.
We would be delighted to assist in helping you choose the perfect shape, colour and design or if you prefer we can draw a shortlist of “must haves” for your wardrobe that will accompany you through life to every occasion.
Do not hesitate to contact us should you be unable to find the ideal design from the shopping pages of our website. One of our team will be pleased to help you by phone on 0207 373 3369 if you are dialing from within the United Kingdom, or +44 207 373 3369 if you are dialing from outside the United Kingdom, alternatively you can email any of our team for assistance at email@example.com
In order to help us find the perfect item of pearl jewellery it would be helpful for us to know:
- your eye colour and skin tone
- the look or occasions you require the designs for
- your preferred price range
We have a broad range to choose from and would be delighted in helping you. We look forward to hearing from you soon, Team CDP x
Most of the designs in our pearl collections at Coleman Douglas have our signature pearl clasp, an innovative departure for pearl jewellery design, the pearl toggle clasp is far simpler to put on and take off than a traditional metal clasp and is ideal for the busy woman of today, it proved so popular that it has become our signature.
Our signature pearl clasp came into being over 25 years ago. Mrs B, one of our clients suffered from arthritis, she found the normal workings of a metal clasp too fiddly. At the time good magnetic clasps were not easily available. Mrs B asked Chrissie our designer, if Coleman Douglas Pearls could come up with an easier clasp. Something, she said, like a toggle but thicker…. The result is our signature clasp a naturally formed long cultured freshwater pearl, drilled halfway so that it acts as a hinge within a lasso of tiny seed pearls. It is easy to put on even blindfolded and it is very secure, so secure that 95% of the designs are Coleman Douglas Pearls are finished with the pearl toggle. If you have not tried it do pop into the studio at 42 Beauchamp Place to check it out and the moral of the story is if you listen to your customers you get GREAT INSPIRATION.
Here are a few of our favourite pieces with our pearl clasp, can you guess what they are before linking into the image?
She may only have been America’s First Lady for a brief couple of years but Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, with her elegant style, left a much-mirrored legacy to the fashion world. Portman portrays her with aplomb in Pablo Larraín’s fêted biopic Jackie. The film’s French costume designer Madeline Fontaine was recently awarded the 2017 Costume Design BAFTA for her epic recreations of Jackie’s outfits.
Jackie excelled in simple, classic dressing: camel, white, black and navy were her staple colours. She loved a strapless silk dress in a shade of sherbet to make her jewellery sing. She was queen of oversized shades and luscious headscarves. And no doubt the best-known 1960s Jackie O image is of the tailored suit, pillbox hat and white gloves – perfectly accessorized, of course, by several strings of pearls.
Jackie, who once said: ‘Jewelry is epoch making and to me it has a significance of its own’, was sure of the impact of jewellery on a look. Her pearls – usually the three-strand necklace, sometimes a pair of oversized statement pearl and diamond earrings and perhaps also a brooch – were her daily, go-to accessories. Surprisingly, these were often not of the real variety. But she gave them iconic status anyway, and in 2010 two of her simulated pearl necklaces along with a pair of faux pearl and diamond earrings sold for more than £50,000 at auction – an inflation of its value by more than 10,000 per cent.
In the well-known words of Mrs Kennedy: ‘Pearls are always appropriate.’
Channel your inner Jackie O with our pearls:
Classic 3 Strand Biwa Pearl Necklace in White, £273
Large Freshwater Pearl Stud Earrings, £137
Triple Strand Biwa Pearl Bracelet in white, £166
Pearls are the most sensual and flattering of gems. They beautify their owner, reflecting a soft glow that enhances the natural harmony of our features. It is therefore essential to maintain the gentle lustre that has been so painstakingly created by nature. Pearls improve their lustre when worn next to the skin as the oils of the person wearing them keep them moisturized.
Important points to consider in caring for your pearls
- Wear your pearls as much as possible.
- Wipe pearls after use to remove any trace of perspiration or perfume.
- Keep pearls in silk or chamois leather when not in use, away from diamonds or metal.
- Give your pearls an annual check-up – look for thread stretching, discolouration or fraying.
- If you wear your pearls often, have them cleaned by a pearl expert once a year.
Things to avoid
- Keep your pearls away from perfume, hairspray and fake tan.
- Don’t wear pearls for aerobic exercise or swimming in treated water as they are damaged by excessive perspiration and chemicals.
- Do not test the genuineness of a pearl by biting it with your teeth.
- Never store pearls in a hanging position as it can stretch and damage the silk.
- A storage place that is too dry or airless, for example, a sealed plastic bag, will dry the pearl.
Why not try our pearl essence perfume that has been made with zero alcohol with natural oils that actually enhance your pearls. We’ve had fantastic feedback on it that the smell lingers through to the next day. More info – click here.
Here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we understand that there is a lot of mystery behind pearls and how they are formed into beautiful pieces of jewellery, but there doesn’t need to be. It’s quite simple really.
As you probably know, they are created by oysters and mussels. Oysters tend to only produce one pearl in its lifetime whereas mussels can create up to 120 pearls. Pearls are a result from the protective reaction of an oyster or mussel to accidental or deliberate introduction of a foreign body into its organism. This reaction creates concentric layers of nacre (mother of pearl) which are deposited on the foreign body covering it completely.
No two pearls are the same. They usually have some form of irregularity which all adds to the natural aspect of this lustrous gem.
There are four main types of pearls that we sell here at Coleman Douglas Pearls, there are South Sea, Tahitian and Akoya pearls which are formed in oysters and there are mussels formed freshwater pearls.
South Sea Pearls– tend to be 9-14mm in size and are produced in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They vary in shades of white and gold.
Tahitian Pearls are similar in size to the South Sea pearls but come in a variety of colours from white to deep black through aubergine and blue, all shades have a grey over tone. Tahitian pearls are mainly produced in Tahiti (surprise) French Polynesia and Mexico although some can be found in Autralia.
Akoya pearls were first cultivated in Japan, their size varies from 3-10mm in size and in colour they range from pink through to white, gold and grey.
Freshwater pearls are produced mainly in China and are the easiest to access type of pearl but beautiful none the less. Some of these pearls can be called Biwa pearls which this is a generic name as the most famous freshwater pearls originated in Lake Biwa in Japan.
For a more in depth over view of pearls have a read through here. Or come along to one of our pearl talks, more dates coming soon.
Welcome to 2017!
We can’t wait to get back to our showroom studio to create more beautiful pearl designs with lots of colour and vibrancy. For now here are our favourite pearl necklaces which remind us of the fabulous New Years Eve fireworks that welcomed 2017. All that colour!
We will be open again from Thursday 5th January, see you all soon!
Coleman Douglas Pearls is in a state of festive fun and cheer with only one week left until the big day! We understand that you will all be running around finalizing the last minute details but hope you manage to squeeze one last visit to us in before the new year! With pearls, champagne, truffles and coffee we are here to help with any last minute forgotten gifts or for those still searching for that one perfect special gift and this quick gift guide can give you a helping hand!
Gifts under £150:
Gifts between £150 – £250:
Gifts between £250-£500:
Gifts between £500-£1000:
Gifts between £1000-£1500:
Gifts over £1500:
Pop into our Beacuchamp Place, London store in the next week and our pearl team will happily help you source the perfect gift and wrap it for you in our luxury Christmas gift wrap!
December – the final month of the year and the last to find out about their two birthstones, Tanzanite and Turquoise. Coleman Douglas Pearls believes that these two stones perfectly represent the month with their wintery and icy blue hues. And you all know what colour is blue’s best friend – White! Making our pearls the perfect companion to these stones. Book today for a bespoke design consultation to create the pearl jewellery of your dreams coupled with either of these fabulous stones.
Tanzanite and Turquoise though both blue vary a lot in terms of shade and type of stone. Tanzanite is a relatively new stone discovery – only being found and marketed in the late 60’s. It has an intense blue – purple hue and is transparent. It is a variety of zoisite and was named after the country were it was discovered, Tanzania. It has grown quickly in popularity and is now marketed on the same level as sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
Turquoise on the other-hand has been around for thousands of years in jewellery especially in Egyptian and Aztec cultures. The name turquoise is thought to have come from the french word “turques” for “Turks” because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey or Persia as it was then known. Native Americans believed that if they wore the stone on their bow arm it would improve their accuracy. Unlike Tanzanite turquoise is opaque and a pale blue in comparison.
Whichever one turns out to be your favourite, whether December is your birth month or not – our pearl team is here to help you find the piece for you! The great thing about these stones are that whether you go for freshwater, akoya or south sea pearls – all will compliment them! We hope that you will wear your new pearl jewellery through these cold winter months, into summer and beyond!
December is here and the festivities are really starting to get us all excited here at Coleman Douglas Pearls. Don’t worry if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet you have come to the right place! We can help you find presents for everyone you are looking for and wrap them in our luxury Christmas gift wrap to take all the stress out of the way for you!
First up are the girls in your life, whether it be your mum, wife, sister, daughter, girlfriend . . . we guarantee we have something to suit all ages and tastes. Our classic double strand necklace in white was featured this year in Vogue’s 100 year anniversary edition and is perfect for both younger and older ladies. Paired with our large joy of life earrings this is the perfect combination for that special lady in your life to find under the tree!
We also do great gifts for younger girls with our white freshwater drop pendant and our small pearl studs. These don’t just come in white – we have also got them in pink, grey, peacock black and copper so you can find the perfect pearl for your girl! If, however, you are needing to pull out ALL the stops this Christmas our cognac diamond and south sea pearl necklace is the gift for you! Stunning glittering diamonds in shades between yellow and brown reflect perfectly with our golden and white south sea pearls making this a truly special piece for a truly special girl.
And here come the boys! Our For Him range has everything a discerning gentleman could want with a wide variety of cufflinks and tie pins (which us girls also like to steal now and then to put on our pashminas . . . shhhhh!) we will find the pearl for your guy. You can’t go wrong with one of our classic biwa pearl tie pins they work with literally everything! If you’re looking to add some glamour into you’re man’s life then look no further than these tahitian pearl cufflinks – the perfect addition for those special occasions.
Pop by our pearl jewellery store this December and try some of our delicious prestat truffles with your coffee/tea or even a glass of champagne – you will deserve it after completing all your Christmas shopping!