Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Classic Holiday Gift - Vintage Pearls

Pearls. Their lustre, their subtle glow, their
radiance make them one of the most popular choices for a gift of jewelry. Did you know:

- As far back as Roman times, pearls have been considered to be symbols of wealth, class, and status.

- Coco Chanel helped to popularize cultured pearls in the 1930's by wearing them in multiple strands.

- By the 1950s, cultured pearls were considered essential accessories for well-dressed women.

- Although not a "stone", pearls are the birthstone of people born in June.

- Pearl necklaces look best when they have an odd number of strands. Choose 1, 3, or 5 strands over 2 or 4. has a great page of information on how to care for your pearl jewelry.

October 1963 - A necklace of freshwater baroque pearls in nearly matched sizes from F.J. Cooper Jewelers. Because these are natural pearls, this necklace was one-of-a-kind. The cost? A mere $13,000 ($91,600 today).

November 1959- On the other end of the spectrum, "pretend pearls" by costume jewelry maker Richelieu, made of glass or plastic beads coated with pearlized paint and available in many colors. The multi-strand necklace $10 ($75 today), the rope necklace $7.50 ($55.50 today), the earrings $3 ($22 today).

March 1963 - Marvella simulated double strand cocktail length necklace. Marvella's simulated pearls were high quality and were produced in several subtle hues so you could choose the one that best suited your skin tone. Not to mention the fact that he'll nuzzle you're neck when you're wearing them! $17.50 in 1963 ($122 today)

March 1963 - An artistic styling of cultured pearls surround a David Webb gold and diamond bracelet. 24 six-strand necklaces of perfectly matched 4mm cultured pearls were twisted around each other to make the "frame" for the bracelet.