Today’s designers use pearls for much more than conventional necklaces geared toward the twinset crowd. Of course, we still think everyone should have classic pearl earrings and a pearl strand necklace in their jewelry collection, but there’s so much more out there today. Some designers play with the organic shapes and unusual beauty of baroque pearls in modern pearl jewelry, while others use the highest-quality pearls in avant-garde designs. No matter the style, the natural beauty of pearls always shines.
Mikimoto is the most important pearl company in the world, and for good reason. Its founder, Kokichi Mikimoto, invented the process for creating cultured pearls, which revolutionized the industry in 1893. Before then, pearls were found only in the wild, which made them exceedingly rare and valuable. Today, Mikimoto’s pearls are among the best in the world. This gift set is the perfect place to begin your pearl collection. It includes a classic pearl strand necklace and stud earrings. They feature cultured Akoya pearls, which are renowned for their pink tones and rich luster.
Mikimoto 18-inch Akoya Cultured Pearl necklace and earrings in 18K white gold, $5,760
Brent Neale adds a twist to a gypsy ring by setting a lustrous South Sea pearl in the center. We love the unusual setting — the pearl appears to float above the rich gold. The lustrous pearl is flanked by two pear-shape diamonds.
Brent Neale Splash gypsy ring in 18K yellow gold with South Sea pearl and 1.29 carats diamond, $12,000
Assael is one of the top companies in the US for pearls. Not only does Assael have some of the finest pearls on the market, but it collaborates with innovative designers to breathe new life into classic pearl jewelry. Recently, it collaborated with jeweler Sean Gilson on a playful collection inspired by bubbles. In these pieces, Gilson sets stunning pearls in asymmetric designs, resembling bubbles underwater. It’s a fantastic way to modernize pearls, whether in a discreet bangle or a fabulous tiara. Assael also uses a similar cluster technique in these one-of-a-kind earrings.
Sean Gilson for Assael Bubble pearl bracelet with South Sea and Akoya pearls, $31,400, available at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue
Assael Cluster earrings in platinum and 18K white gold with Akoya pearls and 1.01 carats diamond, $45,000
In the Kintsugi collection, Milamore meditates on the beauty of the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi: repairing broken ceramic objects with lacquer and gold powder. The golden bands add beauty to the restored piece and make it whole again. This infinity necklace features Akoya pearls and two Kintsugi-inspired motifs in 18K white and yellow gold. They mimic the organic shapes of a Kintsugi repair, and we love the mix of gold colors.
Milamore Kintsugi necklace in 18K white and yellow gold with Akoya pearls, $9,550
Margot McKinney Jewelry
Not all pearls are white — Tahitian pearls are sought after for their rich gray color and purple undertones. These earrings highlight the organic-shaped beauty of baroque pearls with a brushed 18K white gold setting with diamonds. No two baroque pearls are alike, and we love the unique look of these earrings.
Margot McKinney Jewelry earrings in 18K white gold with baroque Tahitian pearls and .72 carats diamond, $12,800
Show your love with this stunning necklace from W.Rosado. The designer is known for his carved pearls, which he sets with diamond letters or whimsical motifs. This necklace spells out “Amore.” He also creates custom pieces of modern pearl jewelry.
W.Rosado Pearl ID “Amore” choker necklace in 18K white gold with Australian South Sea pearls and 7.59 carats diamond, $95,000