Types of Pearls

cultured_grid_largeHere 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_white_gold_pearls_compactSouth 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_compact

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.akoya_medium

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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.

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.

Mix and Match

One of the best things about pearls is their ability to go with anything. You can wear them with jeans, you can wear pearls with your black tie dress, even men can wear them. Get Pierce Brosnan wearing a solo Tahitian pearl on a leather cord or Johnny Depp in a Tahitian pearl stud earring any day.ne1632_main_image_large_large

Pearls with other gemstones is what gets us extra excited here at Coleman Douglas Pearls. For example; Sapphires and Tahitian pearls are the true meaning of match made in heaven. Aquamarine and white freshwater Pearls are the perfect twosome for a beautiful bride adding that ‘something blue’ element to the mix.

Other favourites are gems such as the rainbow of colours that Tourmaline brings, Prehenite, Black Diamonds, Rose Quartz, Peridot, Citrine and Amethyst, the list could go on and on. Whatever you feel like mixing and matching, our designer extraordinaire Chrissie Douglas will create it for you. Make sure you pop down to our studio to pick and choose your favourite gemstones.

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Last Minute Gift Ideas

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:

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Gifts between £150 – £250:

MnM pearl ring + trufflecu1261pink+greylarge1648 £115

 

 

 

 

Gifts between £250-£500:

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classic white + petalsNE1832bl main image large

 

 

 

 

Gifts between £500-£1000:

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Gifts between £1000-£1500:

ss + moonstone pendant + rose3226 ta website.1pearl choker + flowers

 

 

 

 

Gifts over £1500:

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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!

Tanzanite and Turquoise

Saphire neDecember – 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.

tanzaniteTanzanite 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.

turquoiseTurquoise 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.

Winter Jan 09 6Whichever 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!

 

 

Award winning pearls

47b-webOur designer Chrissie Douglas has won numerous design awards since starting her career, especially in her Tahitian pearl designs. Chrissie’s aim has always been to offer an investment in style and value by utilising her expert pearl knowledge coupled with an excellent network of suppliers. Her innovative and fresh use of pearls with semi-precious stones and other more unusual materials like leather, silk gauze, wood and felt have produced unique designs.

Titania warrior pic2Out of all the ranges that Chrissie has designed our favourite for the winter has to be the Warrior pearl collection. This collection never goes out of fashion as it is so edgy it enables the wearer to go full on Rock Chick or just to slightly toughen up an otherwise girly outfit. Mainly made from knotted leather and Tahitian pearls this range sure knows how to make an impact. Wear the Tahitian Warrior armband and earrings with your most feminine outfit this Christmas party season and you will be guaranteed to wow your friends.

cog dia ss ne + macaroonOur fine jewellery range is also perfect for all the glitz and glam of this time of year. Enhance your natural sparkle with our cognac diamond and south sea necklace – a great transitional piece through the seasons picking up on the golds of Christmas but also delicate enough to wear in the spring and summer. Other great investment pieces include our Tahitian pearl, diamond and rainbow moonstone pendant and matching earrings. The moonstone has a gorgeous adularescence effect where the light travels across the gem changing its colour from apparently colourless to gorgeous blues.

590.Paul ViantFor other final flourishes to your party outfit please bring a photo of you wearing the outfit along to our showrooms where our pearl team can then source the perfect finishing item. Whether you choose to go for an amazing statement necklace or a classic pair of earrings, here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we’ll have the piece for you!

Girls movie night

still-of-felicity-jones-in-chalet-girl-2011-large-picture1Christmas is nearly upon us with just over a month to go and although some of our pearl team are excited others are really wishing it either wasn’t so close (how on earth is everything going to get done?!) or to just take a break from planning the festivities. Either way Coleman Douglas Pearls have the perfect plan for you – get the snacks ready its Movie night! And because we love all things pearls we thought we would mention a couple of our favourite guilty pleasure films featuring pearls!

classic white + petalsFirst up is Chalet Girl featuring our pearls! This film is a perfect winter choice, no mention of Christmas, but enough snow to make you feel a little excited about the season again. A classic RomCom, especially appealing to any snow sports lovers out there! The pieces worn by the girls in the film are everyday wardrobe staples seeing you through every eventuality you will encounter in life. All three of the main leading ladies can be seen wearing our pearls with Felicity Jones wearing our single classic freshwater strand, Brooke Shields wearing our diamond huggies and Tamsin Egerton wearing our freshwater pendant.

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princess diaries 2Next is The Princess Diaries . . . . now I know what you’re thinking but hear us out! This film is perfect not only to watch with your girlfriends but also with your daughter. Not only does Julie Andrews live up to her Practically Perfect name but it is the perfect mix of humour and lessons of life, love and friendship. Pearls again feature heavily as any good queen will know an outfit is not complete without pearls. We especially love the mabe pearl earrings Julie Andrews wears and you can pair them with a South Sea strand – you really will feel like royalty!

If you want any further information about our pearls seen on screen please pop into our London jewellery showroom where we have a wide range of pearl jewellery to suit every occasion.

Bespoke pearl jewellery

Tah prl EA and stonesPearls are stunning in their own right and here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we believe the addition of coloured gemstones can also really lift a piece and give a new take on pearl jewellery. Our bespoke service is the perfect way to design a totally new piece for yourself or to give an old piece a new lease of life.

topazTopaz is one of the birthstones for November and is most commonly thought of as being blue in colour. Although natural blue topaz does exist in nature, it is rare and most of the blue topaz that you see has actually been irradiated to get its hue. Topaz is colourless but also comes in shades of brown, yellow, orange and pink depending on impurity elements or structural defects within the crystal structure. The name topaz is thought to have two different origins; the first coming from the word “Topazios”, an old Greek name for the island now called Zabargad, and although the island never produced topaz, it did produce similar coloured minerals. People just didn’t have the resources to differentiate the two. The second origin could be from the ancient Sanskrit language from the word topas or tapaz, meaning “fire.”

citrine happy + roseCitrine is the second birthstone for November and is already incorporated into a lot of our pearl designs. Citrine is the yellow variety of quartz and ranges in shade from pale yellow to deep orange resulting from the amount of iron in the crystal structure. The name is derived from the Latin “citrina” meaning yellow and it is thought this is the origin for the french word “citron” meaning lemon. Citrine’s have been confused with Topaz for centuries due to their similar colours and lack of obvious inclusions. Most citrine on the market is actually heat treated amethyst, although it does occur naturally.

We want to pass on our love for gemstones and pearls in jewellery and would love for you to book a design consultation with us at our pearl jewellery store in London. We are open Monday – Saturday from 11am – 7pm.

Wrap up in Pearls!

snow08 1internetIt is most definitely winter and here at Coleman Douglas Pearls we are always looking for ways to stay warm. However, bundled up in scarves is not always the most glamorous look so we thought why not wrap up in pearls to keep warm… At our pearl jewellery showroom we have a variety of different ways for you to wrap up against the cold.

First up is are our multi strand pearl necklaces that can be worn alone or layered up together for a dramatic final look as shown by a bevy of celebrities over the years. In addition to the multi strand pearl bodies that we have in store we also have pearl lariats and lasso’s that are designed to be worn together or separately, depending on your mood.

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In addition to our long pearl ropes we also have a selection of shorter multi strand pearl necklaces that look great worn over all those thick jumpers we have been keeping warm in.

But whatever the weather has in store for us over the coming months don’t forget to pop in and say hello! In addition to serving the best coffee around we also have a few tasty Prestat Chocolate Truffles to go with it and you’re surrounded by all our beautiful pearls, what could be better.

See you soon!

Fireworks and pearls!

Fireworks over Palace of Westminster seen from South Bank

garnet and SS prlRemember remember the 5th of November . . . . Fireworks night is almost here! Our pearl team can’t wait to get out onto the streets to see some amazing displays! Two of our favourites being the Battersea Park and Southwark displays. The perfect opportunity to see London at its finest – bathed in a multi coloured glow. Speaking of which our pearls are just the thing to set off your winter complexion. Pearls enhance the wearers beauty when the right colour is placed upon the skin so if you think pearls don’t suit you then come in for a consultation with our pearl specialists at 42 Beauchamp Place to ascertain the best colour and tone for you.

fireworks blogNE3204A few other events for you pearl lovers in November include Hair by Sam McKnight on at Somerset House. Follow this incredible hair stylist through his 40 year career in the fashion world. After collaborating with the likes of Linda Evangelista and Chanel expect pearls also to feature heavily in the images! Also don’t forget to check out the London Jazz Festival featuring great jazz artists from international professionals to new artists. You know we always tell you that pearls need to be worn – here is the perfect opportunity to cheer up the dark November nights! Cocktails, great music and you will be looking after your pearl jewellery – its a win win win scenario! We will be waiting to hear all the gossip from you soon!