Gemstones & Pearls:News
Everybody's talking about pink pearls, but gray is on its way
Lips, feather boas and high-heeled mules blushed alongside cultured pearls
in this spring's fashion magazine spreads heralding sweet shades of pink.
Bashfully bolder than white pearls' rosy luster, pink cultured pearls
were a hit at this year's Basel Fair and scored multiple mentions in Wand
Harper's Bazaar.A May W article, for example, features rare conch
pearls natural formations from Caribbean conch shells in diamond
and platinum jewelry by Fred Leighton.
More common and attainable are freshwater pearls, cultured in rivers
of China and the U.S. "One of the reasons pink freshwater pearls are
so appealing to me is they occur naturally in that color," says designer
Cathy Carmendy of Santa Monica, CA.
When they're small and off-round, freshwater pearls are much less expensive
than other cultured pearls, one reason they've achieved such popularity
in department stores. For higher-end jewelers, some freshwater pearls are
now growing to 9mm to 11mm the size of a small Tahitian pearl. "A
large freshwater pearl can cost as much as a South Sea pearl sometimes,"
says Carmendy. The price is not a deterrent, however. "All my large
pink pearls have been selling really well," she says.
As for the future, the pink sun may be setting and giving way to steely
gray. The moody metallics achieved naturally in black pearls from
Tahiti or color-enhanced freshwater pearls have shown up in pearl
jewelry this year from Basel to New York boutiques.
"Pink was last year," says designer Erica Courtney of Hollywood,
CA. "The pearl of the season is silvery-gray. Mixed with gold, it gives
you a two-tone look. It's fresh and new-looking. And it's not white."
by Stacey King
|Designer Cathy Carmendy uses 9mm natural color freshwater cultured pearls
in her 20k amulet necklace and earrings.|
|Gray cultured pearls combine with a Tahitian black pearl and diamonds in
this necklace by Erica Courtney.|
|Harper's Bazaarfeatures M&J Savitt's freshwater cultured pearl
necklace in a fashion spread on the color pink in March.|
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