Fashionable Pearls: A Study of the Use of Pearls in Jewelry and Fashion

Pearls have a rich history in the fashion industry, dating back to ancient times. The Susa Necklace, the world’s oldest known pearl necklace, was discovered in the tomb of an ancient Persian queen and is estimated to be approximately 2,500 years old. This necklace showcases the long-standing popularity of pearls among Persian royalty.

Pearls have been a favorite fashion choice of various kings, queens, emperors, and royalty throughout history. A trend which continues to this very day.

For special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations, many people choose pearls for their symbolic representation of purity, fertility, and the cycles of life. Needless to say, pearls are a beautiful and meaningful addition to any jewelry collection, and can elevate any outfit with their  .

Many manufacturers offer a wide range of styles, from classic pearl necklaces to more modern designs. By incorporating pearl jewelry into your closet, you can add sophistication and elegance to any outfit. However it is important to note that pearls are sensitive to fragrances, cosmetics, and moisturizers, so you should wear them last and take them off first.

Pearls have been an important part of fashion for centuries and continue to be a popular choice for jewelry designers and consumers alike. Whether worn in a classic or contemporary style, pearls have a unique and timeless appeal that makes them a valuable addition to any jewelry collection.

Types of Pearl Jewelry

The main types of pearl jewelry

  • Necklaces: Pearl necklaces are the most iconic and popular type of pearl jewelry. They come in various lengths, styles, and sizes. The classic princess strand made with freshwater pearls or the contemporary necklace made with multiple strands of different sized Akoya pearls are some examples of popular styles of pearl necklaces.
  • Bracelets: Pearl bracelets are elegant and versatile pieces of jewelry that can be worn for any occasion. They come in different designs, including single-strand, multi-strand, and bangle-style bracelets. They can also be combined with other gemstones or metals for a more unique look.
  • Earrings: Pearl earrings are classic and timeless pieces of jewelry that can be worn every day or for special occasions. They come in various styles, including stud, drop, dangle, and hoop earrings. They can be found with different pearl types, sizes, and colors, and can be combined with other gemstones or metals.
  • Rings: Pearl rings are beautiful and elegant pieces of jewelry that can be worn alone or stacked with other rings. They come in various designs, including solitaire, halo, and multi-stone rings. They can also be found with different types, sizes, and colors of pearls.

Popular pearl sizes and colors used in fashion

  • Pearl sizes: The size of a pearl is an important factor in determining its value and popularity. Some of the most popular sizes of pearls used in fashion include 7-7.5mm and 8-8.5mm for Akoya pearls, 7.5-8mm and 8.5-9mm for freshwater pearls, and larger sizes for Tahitian pearls.
  • Pearl colors: The color of a pearl can vary widely depending on the type of pearl and the environment in which it was grown. Some of the most popular colors of pearls include white, cream, pink, lavender, and black. Akoya pearls are typically white or cream, while Tahitian pearls are known for their unique black color.

Designers and Brands

Fashion designers and luxury brands that frequently use pearls in their collections:

  • Chanel: Chanel is known for its iconic pearl necklaces and frequently uses pearls in its haute couture and ready-to-wear collections.
  • Gucci: Gucci often incorporates pearls into its jewelry and accessories, such as pearl-studded bags and shoes.
  • Mikimoto: Mikimoto is a luxury pearl jewelry brand known for its high-quality Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian pearls.
  • Cherish Pearls: Cherish Pearls is a fast-growing upstart brand known for their sustainable and high quality freshwater pearl jewelry.

Examples of runway shows or campaigns featuring pearl jewelry

  • Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2021-2022 collection featured numerous pearl jewelry pieces, including multi-strand necklaces and pearl-encrusted earrings.
  • Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection showcased pearl-embellished sunglasses, earrings, and necklaces.
  • Mikimoto frequently collaborates with fashion designers to showcase its pearl jewelry on the runway, such as its partnership with Jason Wu for his Spring/Summer 2021 show.

Consumer Demand

Analysis of the current and past consumer demand for pearl jewelry

  • According to a report by Grand View Research, the global pearl jewelry market is projected to reach $41.6 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.1% from 2019 to 2025.
  • A survey conducted by MVI Marketing found that 73% of American women surveyed owned pearl jewelry, with 35% owning freshwater pearls and 24% owning Akoya pearls.

Explanation of the factors that influence consumer preferences

  • Price is a significant factor in determining consumer demand for pearl jewelry, with higher-quality pearls generally commanding higher prices.
  • The type of pearl (e.g. freshwater, Akoya, South Sea) can also influence consumer demand, with some types of pearls being considered more prestigious or luxurious than others.
  • Consumer trends and fashion preferences can also play a role in determining demand for pearl jewelry, with certain styles or colors being more popular at different times.

Care and Maintenance

The pearl industry is a significant global market, with countries such as Japan, China, and French Polynesia being major producers of marine cultured pearls. The process of pearl production involves cultivating oysters and placing them in a suitable environment for the growth of pearls. The industry has evolved to include a range of methods for producing pearls, including natural, freshwater, and cultured pearls.

Here are some key points about international pearl sourcing and production:

  • The production of marine cultured pearls in Japan accounts for 51.6% of global pearl output value, with an average annual value of 127 million USD in the past decade.
  • Chinese pearl production is characterized by a high-yield, low-value industry structure, with an average annual production of 18.6 t of marine cultured pearls.
  • The global pearl production has seen a decline in the past decade, with a 60% decrease in overall production and a 39% decrease in output value.
  • Pearl production can have a significant impact on the environment, with some methods involving the use of harmful chemicals and pollutants. Sustainable pearl farming practices aim to reduce the impact of pearl production on the environment by using eco-friendly methods.


Pearls are a classic and timeless fashion essential whose popularity never seems to wane. It will be interesting to see how their popularity continues to evolve over the coming decades, with new technologies such as social media and virtual reality changing the ways in which consumers research and shop for jewelry online.

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