About Pearl NecklacesThe noble pearl has a history that stretches back to ancient times. While people have admired gold and jewels since the earliest days of history, our history of enjoying oysters means that pearls were probably the first discovered jewel — and history bears this out. In 2,300 BCE (roughly 4,500 years ago), pearls were being given as gifts to Chinese monarchs. In 420 BCE, a piece of pearl jewelry was buried in the tomb of a Persian princess.
Pearls have been so treasured that at times in history, the demand for them has caused crashes in the populations of nacreous oysters. In 1893, Mikimoto Kokichi discovered the scientific process for pearl creation and began a company devoted to producing ultra-high-quality cultured pearls. Here at Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, we’re proud to be an authorized retailer for Mikimoto pearl jewelry, and the quality of Mikimoto Kokichi’s vision can still be seen in every piece they produce.
Today, the once-rare gem is within the reach of every woman, and pearl necklaces are considered de rigueur for the fashionable lady looking to have a gorgeous, silky-smooth piece of jewelry whose organic shine compliments skin tones and evening dresses alike.
How are Pearl Necklaces Classified?Pearl necklaces are classified by their length, and the length of a pearl strand creates different fashion statements when worn. The common pearl necklace lengths are as follows:
- Choker: The choker-length pearl necklace is about 16”, meaning that it sits tightly against the throat. The eye-catching style of a choker makes it a perfect accompaniment for an affair where one’s shoulders are already exposed.
- Princess: Princess-length pearl necklaces are about 18”, falling to the top of the collar-bones. This is the most popular style of pearl necklace thanks to its versatility, and is ideal for the woman who wants to wear pearls as an everyday look.
- Matinee: Matinee-length pearl necklaces are 22” and fall over the chest. At this point, pearl necklaces are so long that they should be the sole accessory for an outfit. Matinee-length pearl necklaces are a fairly high-fashion look and should be avoided if wearing a low-cut dress.
- Opera: Opera-length pearl necklaces are between 30-32”. These statement pieces spruce up an outfit like a tunic & leggings pair or the iconic little black dress.
- Rope: Anything longer than 40” is classified as a pearl rope necklace. On their own, these “lariats” hang below the navel, but more often than not, ropes are doubled up to create two or three strands around a woman’s neck. They can also be wrapped around a woman’s waist to make an impromptu belt, or a playful bandolier look.