Monday, June 11, 2007

Thank the oyster

My first piece of good jewelry was pearl earrings, a gift from my mother when I was in college. Actually, I already was in possession of a simple 22-inch strand necklace of cultured pearls that I’d borrowed from my mom and conveniently brought back to school with me, where I wore it quite often. (We’re going back more than 25 years here, when pearls were still de rigueur for some social events, at least at my school.) By the way, my very generous mother let me keep the necklace too.

In the latest issue of Hudson Valley Connoisseur magazine, we take a photographic peek at a few wonderful pieces of pearl jewelry sold locally, and share tips on how to care for pearls. Did you know that naturally occurring pearls are found in only about one of every 10,000 mollusks? (That tidbit is courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History, which hosted a comprehensive exhibit on pearls.)

For women of my age, I think pearls remain a classic and elegant daytime accessory. I have a wonderful cultured pearl choker I bought for my daughter when she was younger, with the intention of giving it to her on her 12th birthday (more than three years still to wait.) But do young women in their teens and early 20s appreciate and wear pearl jewelry?

UPDATE: the photo above was sent to me from an Ulster County woman after she read this post. Judy wrote in response: Traditional cultured pearls are always beautiful and timeless. But for those who want a unique (and less expensive) look should consider designer jewelry featuring pearls. I make handwoven beaded jewelry featuring among many things, pearls. My website doesn't at the minute feature any of these pieces, but take a look anyway!

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