Skip to content

These Pearls Look Nothing Like the Thin Strands You’re Used To

Asymmetry and bold color variation rule the day.

Until the early 1900s, pearls were discovered only by chance in oysters, making any pearl exceedingly rare and valuable, typically reserved for royalty and nobility. Today, most pearls are cultured, which means they are farmed, not found, but they are just as real.

Most cultured pearls are judged by how perfect they are: They must be completely round, smooth, and unblemished, and have just the right color. These kind remain the classic and are the most highly sought after.