Modern White and Black Pearl Jewelry: When Myths and Fashion Collide

Pearls are one of the most mysterious and precious gems in the world, imbued in myths, legends, and symbolism and probably some the most breathtaking stories of passion and conquest. Pearls are precious because they arise from the sea, not from the fiery depths of the earth, they don’t need cutting or polishing to reach their maximum value and they are forever in style.

While pearl jewelry has been overshadowed by diamonds in the last years, they made a huge comeback as of late, both on the financial and investment market and in the fashion industry. Modern designs, intricate contemporary jewelry, high-end brands, Hollywood divas and innovative fashion combos, they all revolve around pearls nowadays. We will take a look today at pearl jewelry and learn about their symbolism and meaning, while trying to incorporate them in our everyday outfits.

White Pearls, Brides, and Chic Fashion2

Some voices and some superstitions say that brides shouldn’t wear pearl jewelry on their wedding day. However, Ancient Greeks would beg to differ. According to Greek mythology, white pearls were the tears of the gods themselves and bridal pearls were a surefire way to protect the bride on her wedding day. The Greeks thought pearl jewelry would prevent the brides from crying and from having bad luck.

If you consult religious texts, you will learn that some of the first biblical mentions to pearls date back to Genesis. Pearls were said to be the tears of Adam and Eve – drops of divine sorrow shed when the primordial couple was cast out of Paradise. Eve’s tears turned into white pearls – and Christians and Hindu alike adopted the white pearl jewelry as a symbol of the bride’s purity.3

Other religions, cultures and people see pearls as symbols of harmony, prosperity, wisdom and power – this array of symbols can be traced back to the Ancient Romans who wore pearls to show social status, wealth and level of power. From this point of view, modern bridal pearl jewelry is oftentimes associated with the success of a marriage, as wisdom, wealth and harmony are key-concepts leading to “happily forever after.”

Modern bridal pearl jewelry comes in a wide palette of designs and haute couture jewelry, from the simple and sophisticated pearl engagement ring to the timeless white pearls bracelet or choker that can be passed from generation to another.4

But not only brides wear white pearl jewelry. Women all over the world incorporate gorgeous white pearl pieces in their outfits to style them up. The beauty about the white pearls is they can match any type of outfit, no matter your age, personal fashion sense or occasion.

Black Pearls, Sophistication and High-End Couture5

Black pearls, also known as Tahitian, are rarer than white pearls. The same early Christian stories attribute black pearls to Adam’s tears when he had to leave the Garden. But since men usually express emotion on less intense scales in comparison to women, Adam shed fewer tears than Eve, and this is why we have fewer black pearls than white.

This opalescent gem stirred peoples’ passion and imagination for a very long time. Due to its rarity and its high value, the black pearl was a gem worn only by royalty and members of the highest ranks of society – becoming a symbol of wealth and power. There are many legends surrounding black pearls and each of them viewed this little sophisticated gem as a prized possession that would offer its bearer wisdom, courage and protection from harm.

Legends say that if you wear a black pearl pendant, the gem will keep you safe from negative energies, oppositions, malicious intents from others and even evil spirits. Back in the day, black pearls were worn as lucky charms, as they help the wearer achieve his/her goals no matter the obstacles, stay safe from bad luck and gain wisdom.

Modern times and fashion see black pearls jewelry as a symbol of the outmost sophistication, elegance, refinement and taste. While iconic ladies such as Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Grace of Monaco, Lady Diana and others have worn mostly white pearls, black pearl jewelry is today one of the most expensive, rare and sought type of jewelry all over the world. They are associated with seduction, passion, lust, love and haute couture.

Black pearls are today featured in exquisite necklaces that can style up any type of casual or formal outfit, in discrete drop earrings matching any business suit and any glam club attire, styled up with diamond rondells, precious metals adornments and settings and gorgeously featured in bracelets, statement choker necklaces and even engagement rings.6

If you have white or black pearl jewelry, wear it with pride, as its timeless symbolism and its eternal refinement will stay together with you for as long as you live, breathe and keep it close to your heart.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6