Pearls, Fashion & Afternoon Tea

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If you were invited to the Best of Britain Luxury Shopping event last week but couldn’t make it, here are a few highlights! The event was at the luscious Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge and it brought together some new and some established luxury ladies brands for an afternoon of tea, cakes, champagne, pearls and shopping! Gomez-Grazia, the celebrity endorsed fashion brand hosted us and other brands including swimwear, diamonds and even super luxurious hairpieces. We invited all our lovely clients – thank you to those who made it and we hope you enjoyed yourself. Ten percent of all sales went to The Great Ormond Street Hospital and a three lucky shoppers won complimentary nights in top hotels in Paris, Monaco and Geneva.

One of our youngest clients, aged 16, was treated to a pink freshwater drop pendant. Her warm skin tones and Gaelic colouring, with dark hair and blue eyes, meant that pink was her colour! She also suited the peacock black pearls, but young and pretty calls for pink!

The gorgeous Anna is wearing a stunning Gomez Grazia evening gown and a load of our white freshwater pearl bracelets (you can never wear too many!).

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The Gold Edit

This week the team at Coleman Douglas Pearls have decided to showcase just how well Pearls match with everyone’s favourite metal, Gold.

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Why do we love gold so much? It was the first metal to be widely known to the human race, beautiful, shiny and malleable it has been the favourite ever since. The Incas referred to gold as the “tears of the Sun” which is rather romantic. Gold is dispersed widely throughout the geologic world, its discovery occurred to many different groups in many different locales, and nearly everyone who found it was impressed with it as was the developing culture in which they lived. Gold’s early uses were ornamental, and its brilliance and permanence (it neither corrodes nor tarnishes) linked it to deities and royalty in early civilizations. It’s never gone out of fashion and we don’t see it ever doing so any time soon.

With Gold being ‘tears of the sun’ let’s match it with our favourite gemstone and what the Georgian and Victorian eras symbolized Pearls as “tears of mourning”. The earliest record we have of pearls as precious objects are artifacts from Mesopotamia dated to around 2300 B.C and recently, a two thousand year old pearl was found in an Australian Aboriginal archaeological dig in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Persian Gulf was one of the main sources of natural pearls for centuries, as were Venezuela & Panama where pearls were discovered by Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Balboa on their travels. Natural ‘real’ pearls are very rare these days and are worth thousands. Cleopatra won a bet that she could provide Marc Antony with a banquet costing more than the assets of a country. She took off a pearl earring, dissolved it in wine and drank it. How’s that for value!

We have lots of variations of pearls, gems and metals and don’t forget that we create bespoke designs, so if you have any of grannies pearls and gold lying around come in and meet our pearl specialist and designer Chrissie Douglas who will come up with a beautiful new design and make a match made in heaven.

Hope to see you at our studio soon at 42 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London.

Queen Victoria and Royal Jewels

Victoria itvWe have been struck with Royal fever here at Coleman Douglas Pearls as we are absolutely hooked on ITV’s new period drama Victoria! Apparently it is not far from the truth with Victoria’s diaries being used heavily in the research to the show. And oh the jewelleryPearls galore on top of stunning pieces still in existence today!

Below is a brief introduction to a couple of our favourite Victorian jewels.

_GeorgeIVStateDiademUp first is the George IV State Diadem made in 1820 originally for King George IV himself! The diadem features a set of 4 crosses pattée alternating with 4 bouquets of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The motifs are set on a band of diamond scrollwork between two bands of pearls.
The front cross is set with a 4 carat yellow diamond, and the piece features an incredible 1,333 diamonds in all. This diadem was a firm favourite of Victoria’s and she even wore it to the christening of two of her children! It is also popular with our current Queen who reserves it for state occasions and to and from the opening of parliament.

queen in pearlsNext is Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace given to her in 1887 by a committee of ladies who were raising money for a commemorative statue of Victoria’s late husband Prince Albert. Having raised far more than was needed for the statue it was agreed that the excess money was to go to the St. Katherine’s Fund for Nurses and for a necklace to be made for Victoria. However, some of the committee did not think that the money should be spent on a necklace. With the group divided and Victoria apparently fuming that she would not get her necklace this was the £5000 compromise reached!
Made from gold, diamonds and pearls it features a central quatrefoil diamond motif with a large central pearl, topped by a crown and underlined with a drop pearl. Ever practical this necklace is a multi tasking piece with the central piece and the six largest trefoils can be worn as brooches. Again this necklace has found a fan with Queen Elizabeth II who often pairs it with the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara with pearls.

So now you know a bit about the jewellery…which is your favourite piece?!

Water for hot chocolate

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In the Autumn we, Coleman Douglas Pearls, will be launching our latest collection “Water For Hot Chocolate”, pairing gorgeous copper brown pearls with smoky quartz and citrine, making the designs so enticing you’re bound to have chocolate cravings!
So with that in mind our pearl team have decided to fully embrace the cravings and are going to talk about all things chocolate!

Chocolate_Olympia_Other_0Being three dedicated chocoholics we could think of nothing better than attending The Chocolate Show in October. Running from 16th -18th October at London Olympia get ready to loosen those waist belts and delve into the wonderful world of chocolate with famous chefs, free tasters and a fabulous chocolate fashion show!

prestat hot chocolateIf you can’t wait until October to get your chocolate fix we recommend a good dose of copper pearls and a trip to ‘Chocolatiers to the Queen’ – Prestat. Not only does Prestat produce the most INCREDIBLE truffles in all sorts of fun flavours they also do an incredibly indulgent hot chocolate range! Keep your eyes peeled for our next news update which will surely tempt you chocoholics this upcoming season . . . . .

Whilst the remainder of the summer sun lasts we will try and resist temptation and stick to the fruit at our Pearl Jewellery store. However, as soon as the leaves start to turn and the jumpers go back on we know our faithful friend will be there waiting for us!

Rio Olympics 2016

rio 2016The Olympics have arrived!! Four years after London hosted the 2012 (cough “best” cough) games, all of us here at Coleman Douglas Pearls can’t believe its four years later and are ready for the Rio party! After watching the amazing opening ceremony we couldn’t help but keep our eyes peeled to see a few of the athletes rocking their pearls!

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Hopefully emulating some of their 2012 success are GB heptathlete Jessica Ennis Hill (who chose pearls for her wedding day) and USA swimmer Missy Franklin who is rarely seen without her pearl studs – even when in the pool! And with Brazil being the birthplace of many a top model (especially Gisele strutting her stuff at the opening ceremony!)  it is likely Rio will be one of the most fashionable Olympics ever! We will have our fingers crossed that pearls will be winning gold more than once!

Beach East 3If your looking for a sociable way to enjoy the Olympics why not try BeachEast at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The largest urban beach in the UK is returning with a Copacabana feel! As one of TeamGB’s official fan zones they will be broadcasting live coverage of the games and offering you a chance to take part in some of the sports that the athletes are competing in.

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The party atmosphere also got us thinking – what pearls would you wear to the Brazilian fiesta? This south sea and tourmaline necklace has to be worth considering, with its bright colours and happy pearl drop you can’t go wrong wearing this to samba the night away.

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.

The Pearl Queen

‘The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens’.
WIDE ss rowThis last Wednesday markedQueen and Prince the historic moment when Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch, overtaking her great great granny, Queen Victoria.
One photo that swept the national newspapers was the one on the right, where Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are recreating a photograph that was taken at the beginning of her reign.
…check out her pearls

Queen and Prince 2A keen ‘pearl’o’holic’ from the start, Queen Elizabeth has clearly passed her passion on to her daughter Princess Anne, who when visiting our Pearl Company, wearing a pair of stunning pearl drop earrings, mentioned how she ‘…loved playing with granny’s pearls’ when she was younger.

Do you desire pearl jewellery like the Queen’s? If so then this blog was designed for YOU!

The Earrings:EA1851 WH
Whether the Queen is going to a state dinner or out walking her corgis, she is always wearing her diamond and pearl studs.
The perfect accessory for dressing up or down, our South Sea Pearl and diamond stud earring set on 18ct white gold are almost an identical match.

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The Necklace
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On the Queen’s wedding day her father gave her a double strand natural pearl necklace.
Make an appointment with our Pearl Team to find your Freshwater, Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian or Natural pearl necklace today.

To see more of our pearls call into our London Pearl showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX.

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!

Hook Line and Sinker

Fish Hook
If you …ACHOOW!… suffer from …ACHOOW!… heyfever then join our Coleman Douglas Pearls heyfever Pearl Team! But what is it about the Plane Tree pollen that makes us kerchoo the day away?
One of our clients, a doctor, shone light on the answer. Apparently Plane Tree pollen looks similar to small fish hooks, therefore when the pollen is breathed in, it latches onto the back of your throat, inside the nostril, or eye, and continues to irritate sometimes days after you have left the pollen infested area.

What to do it you are affected:
Pollen in your throat….eat!
Pollen in your nostril….HUGE sneeze!
Pollen in your eye….you should have been wearing glasses!

the Queen Pearl
Are you a keen fisherman like Plane Tree pollen?
If so what is the biggest catch you have ever caught?
For Jacob Quackenbush it was one of the most beautiful natural freshwater pearls…the Queen Pearl.

Found in America in 1857, Quakenbush, a carpenter, sold it to Charles Tiffany for a mere $1,500. After changing hands again it then landed in the possession of Empress Eugenie, where the name the ‘Freshwater Queen Pearl’ was founded.

EA Natural PRLDo you dream of owning your very own natural pearl? If so how about a natural pearl ring, necklaces, earrings or tie pin?
Here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we have a magnificent collection of natural pearl jewellery in our Pearl Showroom, located at 42 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NX. Make an appointment with our Pearl Specialist and Designer, Chrissie Douglas, and make your dream a reality.

Whatever you decide to do this bank holiday weekend, fishing or being fished by pollen! we wish you luck!
On a side note it is advisable not to go pearl fishing in Scotland as it is illegal!