Extraordinary Pearls

Do you like Pearls? I think there might be very FEW people who do NOT like pearls. I like pearls. I suppose the fact that so many of us like pearls explains why they are some of the most sought after jewelry in the world and not only that they are some of the oldest stones on earth.

In our present day and time most pearls are similar sizes, however, history documents extra ordinary fabulous pearl finds. The Hope Pearl is one of those. The Hope Pearl is said to be one of the largest saltwater pearls. Henry Philip Hope discovered the Hope Pearl first in the 19th century. Henry Hope collected gems. Don’t we all collect something? And some of us collect more things than just one “something.” I am a collector of “things.” At the present time I am collecting beaded dangle earrings. I hope to collect beaded bracelets and necklaces too, all of which I will handcraft myself. I have fallen in love with beads and sparkling gemstones. Henry Hope ended up collecting around 150 natural pearls. Usually when I collect, I end up with a variety of “things.” Some people are really able to focus in on just one special “something” or “thing” to collect. I am not one of those. I start with one special something or thing then branch out into a variety of whatever it is only to peak and then usually to abandon the entire collection. I know that sounds odd, but it seems to be my pattern of collecting.

The Hope Pearl is a white drop-shaped saltwater blister pearl and remained in Hope’s collection for many years. It was appraised at being worth $17,000 in 1913, was offered in a private sale for $200,000.This was no ordinary pearl.

The La Peregrina Pearl is said to be one of the largest and perfectly pear shaped pearls in the world. The La Peregrima Pearl was found in the Gulf of Panama so says the legend. Legend or truth one the other also says the La Peregrina Pearl was worn by Queen Mary I, both wives of Phillip IV of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte and finally ended up with James Hamilton the Duke of Abercorn (I guess we all know exactly who the Duke of Abercorn was, right?) Well, he lost the pearl twice while it was in the Hamilton family’s possession! Can you believe it, of all places, the sofa at Windsor Castle and then again while at a ball at Buckingham Palace. The next lucky recipient of the La Peregrima Pearl was Elizabeth Taylor. This pearl has done some traveling around. Richard Burton is said to have purchased it for a mere $37,000 from the Hamilton family and gave it to Liz for Valentine’s Day. Lo and Behold Elizabeth Taylor even lost the pearl. However, you can’t believe everything you read. It was reported by “someone” that Liz Taylor found the pearll in the mouth of one of her dogs. Now if you can believe that story, it might be true, who knows? Liz is dead now and can’t confirm it. It seems this particular pearl, the La Peregrina Pearl was easily lost or did not want to stay with anyone who owned it. Sometimes pearls have a will of their own.

Wearing pearls is just a classical thing to do it seems. Pearls have always had a prominent place in political history hanging around the necks of U.S. President wives. Jackie O and Barbara Bush both wore strands of pearls. Barbara Bush was known for wearing three-strand costume pearl necklaces. One of the most stylish women ever was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Her look was simple, yet classic and elegant. Jackie O is known to have made pearls part of her unique and individual statement whereas before Jackie pearls were probably at the lower end of the list in jewelry choices for a lot of women, but you know if Jackie wore it, then many others imitated her and wore pearls too. I have seen many photographs of Jackie Kennedy in single strands of pearls. I like pearls in earrings and bracelets.

There are many, many other famous pearls, famous for their size, shape or meaning. I honestly think every woman who owns even just a few pieces of jewelry will always have some kind of pearls in her stash as well, might not be one of these famous one, but chances are if you find a woman’s jewelry box, you will find something in the box that is “pearl.”

Written by: Connie Limon

Meet Juniper:

dangle earrings 2

Juniper is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Fancy Dangle Earring Collection. Her focal point is a metal Tibetan charm measuring one inch long and one inch wide at the widest point. The charm is quite interesting with detailed flower designs. Onto the charm I placed one Fuchsia 3mm bicone Swarovski bead and one tiny 3 mm cut-out or filigree silver metal-like bead, then the sparkle of a light pink teardrop glass bead. She is finished with silver plated french hooks.

Meaning to name Juniper: The name juniper is Latin and means young, to produce or evergreen.

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