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.

Sale! …Royal Pearls For Sale!

Spanish Royal 1Yes you heard right, a beautiful natural pearl necklace, once belonging to the Spanish Royal Family, is being sold in 2 days time at Christie’s… interested? Our Pearl Team are! These rare 19th century natural pearls were collected by King Ferdinand VII of Spain for his wife Marie Christina of Bourbon -Two Sicilies, they were inherited by their daughter Queen Isabella II of Spain. Later they were sold to Frank H. Hargrove, Esq, where they have remained ever since.

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Do you dream of owning natural pearl jewellery?

With earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, Coleman Douglas Pearls is the place for you, with our Pearl Specialist on hand to help you find the perfect pearls.

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Natural pearls occur when a piece of shell, coral or large piece of grit hooks into the flesh of an oyster. The oyster will try to expel the intruder but if it is unable to dislodge the irritant, the ‘foreign body’  will be covered in layer upon layer of nacre. A grain of sand is hardly ever involved in the production of a natural pearl as the oyster lives in sand and can easily expel it.

Natural Pearl 2One of the most famous seawater natural pearls is La Peregrina a drop shaped 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]. In 1969, Elizabeth Taylor was given La Peregrina by Richard Burton, Mr Burton is recorded to have paid $37,000 in 1969 for La Peregrina, two years ago it sold for 10 million dollars plus saleroom fees!

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Do you desire to learn more about natural pearls?
Book a place for one of our Pearl Talks happening in the New Year, an event not to be missed.

Only $5.1 million!

Natural Pearl 1So the big question is… what was sold for $5.1 million? A house, super car, gym palace? …try a pearl necklace!
The 4 strand grey natural saltwater pearl necklace was sold on Tuesday at the Christie’s Jewels Sale setting yet another milestone auction price for a natural pearl necklace. One of our pearl company members was able to closer inspect this necklace, spotting a few marks here and there, she come away in awe of the beauty of the metallic coloured hues of the pearls.

Natural Pearl 2This isn’t the first time that a natural pearl has been sold for such a high amount.
Do you remember the Elizabeth Taylor jewellery auction? One item of jewellery that particularly caught the attention of our Pearl Team was the necklace holding La Peregrina, one of the most famous seawater natural pearls.

Discovered in the Americas, the drop shaped natural pearl 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. In 1969 Richard Burton purchased the pearl off the Dukes of Abercorn and set it in the extravagant necklace setting seen today, gifting it to Elizabeth Taylor.

Important Facts to know about Natural Pearls:
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The natural pearl process is hardly ever, if ever, started by a grain of sand, due to the oyster being able to easily expel it. The process actually occurs when a piece of shell, coral, bone or large piece of grit hooks into the flesh of the oyster. If the oyster is unable to dislodge the irritant then it will jump into self preservation mode, covering the foreign body in nacre, eventually making a pearl.

Natural Pearl 4Do you dream of owning a natural pearl necklace, bracelet, ring or brooch?
If you do you’re in luck as our Pearl Company has a beautiful collection of natural pearl jewellery at our Pearls London showroom.

Make an appointment with our pearl specialist today to make your dream natural pearl jewellery a reality….not all natural pearl jewellery costs $5.1 million!