The Timeless Beauty of Antique & Vintage Pearl Jewelry
The timeless beauty of vintage pearl jewelry is something to truly ponder on. Pearls are as old as human civilization, being among the very first jewelry worn by men. Known in Greek mythology as Aphrodite's tears of joy, and associated with delicacy, virtue, and femininity, pearls stood the test of time and are still at the center of the world's fashion industry.
As we explore the mysteries of nature, we find out that the birth of a pearl is a unique and intriguing event. A natural pearl is formed when a foreign object - a parasite, sand, coral, or some other kind of organic material - manages to find its way inside the body of an oyster. In order to protect itself, the oyster beings to deposit onto it a substance called nacre, also known as “mother-of-pearl”. As times go by, the “intruder” will be completely covered by several layers of this translucent substance, becoming an exquisite shiny pearl, a gift granted by nature directly to humankind. And, as the Latin word for pearl means “unique”, it's a known fact that no two pearls are identical.
Since the twentieth century, the technique of producing cultured pearls has been invented in Japan. Thanks to the wisdom and hard work of scientists such as Mikimoto Kōkichi, the introduction of cultured pearls into the market has become a reality.
The beauty, shape, and brilliance of these little miracles of nature have given rise to unique vintage pearl jewelry, that has fascinated and enriched mankind's culture and civilization. The world is full of legends and beliefs regarding pearls, from ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece to the mighty Chinese civilization that spanned millennia.
Famous Pearls in History
La Peregrina Pearl: a pearl of unusual size and shape, considered one of the most valuable and legendary precious stones in the history of Europe. Discovered in Panama in the 16th century, it passed through the hands of King Felipe II of Spain, being part of the jewels of the Spanish Crown. It weighs 55.95 carats (11.2 grams). In 1969, Richard Burton bought it for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, who owned it until her death in 2011.
Hong Kong Imperial Pearl: 127.5 carat white-silver baroque pearl weighing 25.5 grams. It is one of the highest quality natural stones in the world. It is believed to be a saltwater pearl formed by an oyster Pinctada Maxima common in the South Sea.
Asian Pearl: an elongated pearl of almost 12 grams discovered at the end of the 16th century.
Abernathy Pearl or "Little Willie Pearl": is a natural 2.85-gram freshwater pearl with an almost perfect spherical shape.
Arco Valley Pearl: baroque pearl weighing 575 carats. It is a white pearl with shades of pink and brown. It was presented to the Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan by Marco Polo.
Hope Pearl: probably the most famous natural saltwater pearl. It weighs 450 carats and is a white, drop-shaped blister pearl, ranging in color from greenish-gold on one end to white on the other. It is currently housed in the British Museum of Natural History.
Pearls and Famous People from History
"A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls", said Coco Chanel, one of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th century, whose name is synonymous with elegance and refinement.
It is said that Coco Chanel did not take off her pearl jewelry until she went to bed. And it's no mystery that she wore some of the most beautiful vintage pearl jewelry in the world, such as Romanov pearls, a gift from her lover, Duke Dimitri Pavlovici of Rusia.
"With a black sweater and a few strings of pearls, fashion has revolutionized", said the French designer Christian Dior about Coco Chanel.
Queen Elizabeth I of England, Liz Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Princess Diana, Jacques Cartier, or Princess Grace of Monaco are just a few famous characters known to everyone who have cherished pearls, but the list goes on. For instance, Queen Elizabeth I of England had such a strong passion for vintage pearl jewelry that she wore 7 strings at a time. She was the owner of a dress inlaid with 3,000 pearls.
Author Ki Hackney, in the volume "People And Pearls. The Magic Endures", explores the power of pearls, their remarkable ability to give the wearer an aura of mystery, elegance, and grace. Hence the well-known saying "Pearls are a woman's best friend".
So, if you want to buy the best vintage pearl jewelry in 2021, you have come to the right place. DSF Antique Jewellery can offer you a glimpse of the timeless beauty of vintage pearl jewelry.