Resort Report | How to Wear Pearls and Coral by the Water

It sounds logical that cultured pearls and natural coral—those precious gems from the sea—might go for a little dip once in a while. Not a good idea. As much as we all love wearing our good pearls and coral jewelry to a beach club luncheon or a poolside cabana party, care must be taken not to wear them in the water. Read on for more tips about how to wear pearls and coral to maximize your beach- and poolside chic.

Just Say No to H2O

Assael Baroque Pearl Necklaces, Assael Tahitian Pearl and Green Garnet Ring, Sardinian Coral Rope Necklace. 
Jewelry: Assael Baroque Pearl Necklaces, Tahitian Pearl and Green Garnet Ring, Sardinian Coral Rope Necklace

In addition to sand (silica), which can be extremely abrasive, damp salt air, saltwater, and chlorine can be harmful to cultured pearls and gem coral. Water from any source—your shower, a hot tub, lakes and pools—tends to weaken the silken threads that are used to string strands of pearls and coral necklaces. 

OBP Tip: Always remember to remove your good pearls and coral jewelry, including rings, before taking the plunge. At the same time, it’s a good idea to take off your diamond wedding rings (unless they are very tight); cold water tends to shrink the fingers in a hurry. 

The Best of Resort ‘19

Assael Angel Skin Coral Necklace, Tahitian Pearl and Morganite Drop Earrings, Tahitian Pearl and Morganite Ring. Runway:  Blue & White and Swim, Chanel; White Dress, Louis Vuitton.
Jewelry: Assael Angel Skin Coral Necklace, Tahitian Pearl and Morganite Earrings, Tahitian Pearl and Morganite Ring. Runway:  Blue & White & Swim, Chanel; White Dress, Louis Vuitton.

Now that we’ve gotten the “don’ts” out of the way, here’s a new “do” for stunning summer wardrobes. As we have all observed, a crisp blue and white palette dominated many of the Spring ’18 Ready-to-Wear shows (think Chanel and Ralph Lauren), and more recently, the Resort ’19 collections. Resort wear, sometimes called Cruise, hit the international runways in early May, but it doesn’t ship until mid-November, so you can expect to see plenty of blue and white right through to your next winter getaway.

We love the way Karl Lagerfeld approached it at Chanel, adding a touch of unexpected pink to his largely blue and white Cruise collection. Try complementing a classic blue and white combo with Assael’s Gem Angel Skin Coral in pale pink to pinky-orange. This responsibly sourced coral was harvested before 1980, and now the cache of mid-century coral has been fashioned into exquisite new designs.

OBP Tip: Want to order from the Resort ’19 collections now? High-fashion site Moda Operandi specializes in just that. Browse and click to buy fresh-off-the-runway looks before they hit the stores. Co-founder Lauren Santo Domingo is no stranger to OBP; read her Palm Beach Story here.

“The Girls in Their Summer Dresses”

Assael South Sea Pearl and Aquamarine Drop Earrings, 7-Row Akoya Pearl Necklace, South Sea Baroque Pearl and Morganite Rope Necklace. Runway: Zimmermann.
Jewelry: Assael South Sea Pearl and Aquamarine Drop Earrings, 7-Row Akoya Pearl Necklace, South Sea Baroque Pearl and Morganite Rope Necklace. Runway: Zimmermann.

As the famed Irwin Shaw short story warns, there’s an irresistible attraction in a breezy sundress, a picture hat and a string of pearls. So, even if you can’t break away for an actual summer vacation, pack all of the above and head out of town for a long, sun-filled weekend. 

Next month’s Hamptons Classic Grand Prix horse show in Bridgehampton, Long Island, is the perfect excuse for wearing “ropes and ropes of pearls,” as Coco Chanel advised. See also: Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Mackinac Island…or any beach where the bright and the beautiful gather. Enjoy!

OBP Tip: Pack your pearls and coral separately, but don’t even think about using zip-lock bags—they need to breathe! Store them in individual cloth pouches, if possible, to prevent them from banging into other pieces. For more pearl and coral jewelry care tips from Assael, please click here.