It has been said that of all the pieces of jewelry in the world, a pearl necklace is the only thing that a woman should not be without. And that's no wonder, for a pearl necklace is the embodiment of classic sophistication and timeless elegance. It goes with a variety of outfits, from casual day wear to formal evening attire. And depending on the type of pearl and color, there are various pearl necklace styles suitable for the very young, those enjoying their golden years, and almost everyone else in the middle.
The price of a pearl necklace depends on the quality of its pearls. Saltwater pearls are generally more expensive than freshwater ones, which are cultured. The sheen and the thickness of the pearls' nacre also affect the price, as well as the size and roundness of the pearls themselves. Pearl necklaces of various colors are available on the market. Smaller pearls in light hues of blue or pink are usually more suitable for young children, while the creamier, ivory-toned pearls are preferred by older women. Jewelry pieces made from black pearls are very, very expensive, since these pearls are so rare.
According to Chinese folklore, pearls are the tears of a dragon. In Roman mythology, they are the tears of Venus. Jewelry designers, in their tireless efforts to do justice to the legendary beauty of these gems, have been adding their own twists to the pearl necklace. Aside from the classic strand, the pearls used in necklaces are sometimes set in gold, silver or platinum. Some designers also mix pearls with other gems to create a unique effect. Extra ornaments, such as charms or a brooch, can also be attached to a pearl necklace to give it a personalized flair.
Caring for a pearl necklace does not involve a lot of fuss. The most advisable thing to do is to wear it often, because if it's stored away for long periods of time, it will dry up and lose its sheen. The body's natural oils will keep the pearls looking lustrous and fresh. It's also important to avoid having the pearls come in contact with substances such as hair spray or body lotion, since these can also adversely affect the pearls' condition.
The popularity of the pearl necklace has never waned both among ordinary people and society's elite. The quintessential fashion plate, Jackie Kennedy, had a passion for pearls; so does actress Maria Berenson. Other celebrities often photographed wearing pearl necklaces are Michelle Pfeiffer, Sophia Loren, Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton. The versatility of pearls is such that fashion experts are even predicting an increase in the number of men who will start wearing pearl-accented dress accessories. For now, however, there is very little to surpass the elegance of the sight of a pearl necklace gracing the neckline of a woman, whether she's a celebrity or not.