The Gift of Glow– How to Choose the Best Pearl Jewelry Gifts for Women and Men
The “Pearlcore” trend and the Pearl Revolution have made pearls one of the most ubiquitous accessories of the day. If your loved ones don’t have great pearls, now is the time to invest in the gift of glow. And if they already have great pearls, you can’t go wrong adding more pearls for them to wear with them – if they have earrings, a strand would be a lovely gift. If they have a nice strand, perhaps you can find another that they can layer with it or a pair of earrings, a bracelet, or a ring they can wear with the strand. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you shop to help you choose the best pearl jewelry gifts for the men and women in your life.
The Pearl Necklace – What to Consider When Gifting a Strand
“In recent years, pearl necklaces have gone from classic to cool,” – W Magazine (Nov 2022). Chic young stars of all genders and ethnicities are proving this to be true – Julia Garner, Gigi Hadid, Harry Styles, Pharrell Williams, and more. The pearl necklace is the new understated classic for fashion’s most beloved. So, a pearl necklace may very well be at the top of the wish list for someone you love. When buying a pearl necklace as a gift, be sure to keep these things in mind.
- Type of Pearl – Before shopping, consider whether you want to gift the beautiful and classic Akoya pearl strand or a luxurious South Sea Pearl strand. For more detailed information about these types of pearls to help you choose, see our post on How to Choose the Perfect Pearl Strand. In very general terms, Akoya pearl strands typically have smaller millimeter sizes (6.5 – 9 mm) and are usually more affordable than South Sea (9 mm – 20+ mm), with some important exceptions. Akoyas have incredible luster and are what most people think of when they think of the classic pearl necklace. South Sea pearls are usually larger and rarer, and therefore, tend to be more expensive. The larger pearls can make a great gift option for people with bold features, a big personality, or a regal sense of status or high jewelry tastes.
- Length – What length of necklace do they usually wear? The classic pearl choker is a favorite for both men and women who love pearls, averaging about 16” for most women and 18” for most men. To wrap the neck high and tight, you may need to go a little shorter, because the typical “choker” length lies just over the collarbone. On the other hand, if you notice your loved one tends to wear longer chains or pendant necklaces that hit the middle of the chest, you may want to consider a Princess (18”) or Matinee (22”) strand for women and for men, a longer strand length would run about 22” or longer as desired. Or if they like to layer their pearls, what lengths do they have already? Try to select a different length from what is already in their fine jewelry wardrobe to allow them the option of layering. For a built-in layered look, opt for a multi-strand pearl necklace like the Assael Lagniappe necklace which can be worn five different ways.
- Clasp – Often the clasp of a pearl strand is part of the design and can help to personalize the gift of a strand of pearls. Be sure to consider the styling of the clasp and choose according to the gift recipient’s tastes and precious metal preferences. As an example, Assael’s Signature Clasp on the Akoya strands has a more modern feel. The 18K yellow gold clasp looks great layered with other gold jewelry, offering a more casual look. The Assael diamond ball clasp elevates a strand and looks elegant when worn with diamond jewelry. Sometimes the clasp is removable, too. The Assael Keshi pearl, Lavender Jade, and Diamond clasp is also convertible into a beautiful brooch for wearing on the lapel, in the hair, at the waist, or on a pearl bracelet.
- Complexion / Skin Tone – Skin with warm undertones tends to look best with golden South Sea pearls or with champagne, ivory, and pinkish white pearls. People with cooler skin tones may prefer white South Sea pearls with silver or blue overtones. – There is such a wide range of natural colors (even within white pearls) that you can choose a color and luster to enhance a person’s natural beauty. If possible, have your loved one try on the pearls before you purchase. If the gift is a surprise, you can bring photos of your loved one to the store when you are shopping to help the sales associate to guide you and help you make the best possible choice.
- Graduation – Another important factor to consider is whether or not the person you are gifting would enjoy a graduated pearl strand. In a graduated pearl strand, the millimeter size of the pearls gets increasingly smaller towards the back of the necklace where the clasp is located. Graduated strands are popular for people with a refined sense of taste or people with more demure and subdued sense of fashion.
The Pearl Earring – What to Consider When Gifting Pearl Earrings
Necklaces are not alone in terms of pearl popularity. Couture fashion designers have embraced the power of the pearl earring for many seasons now. Celebrities of all genders have also appeared on red carpets wearing pearl earrings of late. And for loved ones who already have a great pearl strand, a pearl earring could be the perfect luxury gift.
- Studs or Drops? – One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you want to buy a stud or a drop/dangle earring. The classic pearl earring is a stud worn on the lobe. While the stud is still incredibly popular and always appropriate, today anything goes. Some people enjoy a single pearl stud to be worn in an extra piercing, others prefer a matching pair of pearl studs. Pearl drop earrings feature a pearl (or multiple pearls) hanging below the lobe, moving, twirling, or dancing whenever the head moves. If your loved one is a pearl fan and already has a pair of pearl studs, consider adding to his or her jewelry wardrobe a lovely pearl drop earring. Male celebrities like Ben Platt, Harry Styles, ASAP Rocky, Shaun Ross, and Chinese TV star Wang Yibo have made the single pearl earring equally popular for men.
- Pierced or Clip? – Another important consideration is whether or not your loved one has pierced ears. If not, be sure to buy a clip back earring. For pearl drop earrings, test the grip of the clip to make sure it can properly hold the weight of the dangling pearl(s). Also, some pearl earrings have a purposely designed left and right, meaning one is meant to be worn on the left and another on the right to ensure that they properly frame the face. Many of the Bubble earrings by Sean Gilson for Assael have a left and a right. When gifting these earrings, remember to inform your loved one which is for the left and which is for the right.
- Shape of Pearl – Pearls come in various shapes. The perfectly round pearl is what we are all familiar with. But pearls can also be drop-shaped or off round or baroque (meaning organically shaped, not round). A purely personal preference, you can consider what you love best or more importantly what you think your loved one will appreciate the most – a pristine round pearl or the exotic shape of a beautifully baroque or keshi pearl.
- Hair Length – If your loved one has long hair, you may want to consider a pair of pearl drop earrings so that they are more likely to be seen and noticed. People with longer hair styles often look great in longer earrings, so consider drop earrings that have multiple pearls in a linear design. For shorter hair styles, button earrings are popular like many of the Bubble earrings from Sean Gilson for Assael. Ear cuffs are also trending, so if your loved one has a confident or cutting-edge sense of fashion, maybe an ear cuff or ear climber would be the perfect gift.
The Pearl Ring – What to Consider When Gifting a Pearl Ring
Pearl rings have not only been prevalent in fashion, they have also been popular as celebrity engagement rings with stars like Emma Stone and Arianna Grande getting engaged with pearl and diamond rings. Not being as strong as the diamond, the pearl is not a typical choice for an engagement ring which is worn daily. But, if properly cared for and removed during physical activity or cleaning, pearl rings can endure gracefully.
- Ring Size – The most important factor to consider when buying a pearl ring is ring size. Know which finger you are buying it for and the exact size of that finger. Most pearl rings can be sized up or down within the shank (depending on the design), but better to have the correct size from the start.
- Sense of Style – Another factor to consider for pearl rings is style. Does your pearl fan love big bold, chunky cocktail ring or smaller, subtler stackables? Rings are being worn on every finger these days, on fashion runways and on the street, so one can never have too many ring options. Try not to duplicate what they already have and go for something inspiring or sublime to make them smile every time they glance down at their hands. Two finger rings are also fun. The Assael Split Decision rings are hinged to give the wearer the option of wearing on one finger or two.
Everything said above can also be true of colorful pearls. If your favorite pearl fan already has a lovely white pearl wardrobe, consider adding the versatility of color. Tahitian Pearls range in color from dark charcoal gray to cool silvery blue and often have hints of magenta or green or sometimes both as in the peacock varieties. For those who already have a lovely Tahitian Pearl strand, consider a gift of Tahitian Pearl earrings or a ring with gemstones from Assael’s Colors collection.
South Sea Golden Pearls offer a sunny, warm yellow palette and can brighten up even the dullest of fabrics. Fijian Pearls by J Hunter for Assael offer exotic colors of pearls for true pearl connoisseurs.
Pearl Bracelets also make a welcome and wonderful gift. The primary thing to consider here is the quality of the pearls and your favorite pearl connoisseur’s personal taste. Be sure to test the clasp and inquire if the clasp has a safety. Always buy the best pearls your budget can afford to ensure long-lasting beauty and wear.
Whenever you need a great and lasting gift, pearls make an excellent choice! Ever appropriate, always in style, and extremely versatile, fine luxury pearls are a sustainable option for gifting your loved ones or yourself. Without healthy oceans, fine pearls cannot exist, and most pearl farmers go to great lengths to clean keep the waters where they farm as clean as possible. This biogenic gem is one of the most pristine gifts from Mother Nature. Keep the above pearl buying tips in mind as you shop, and know that your gift will be valued for many years to come. Happy shopping!
Feature image at top – Clockwise from Upper Right – Large Bubble South Sea and Akoya Pearl bracelet by Sean Gilson for Assael, Model wearing Akoya Pearl Strand and Earrings, Wrap ring by Sean Gilson for Assael, Assael Colors ring with Three Tahitian Pearls and Aquamarine, Assael South Sea Pearl and Paisley Cut Aquamarine earrings, Model wearing Assael Lagniappe Necklace and Pearl stud earrings
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