So, what is ‘artistic’ about a pearl strand? Plenty!
Colour, shape, texture, balance, contrast, emphasis, proportion, repetition and variety all come into play.
A string of pearls is carefully balanced in a line with an odd number of pearls which makes a centre focal point pearl. They can be graduated (gradually becoming smaller in size) towards the clasp or the pearls may be of equal size in proportion making a heavier ‘big fat’ statement strand.
Pearls vary tremendously in colour. Australian pearls are usually white, pink- white and silver -white in colour with a small percentage cream and yellow and a very small percentage of a rich golden hue.
The shape of a pearl will affect the price. A perfectly round pearl is the most expensive. A near round or slightly button shaped pearl is far less expensive. Oval, drop and button shaped pearls are moderately priced. Irregular or baroque pearls are often cheaper as are inverted drops, bell or box shapes.
Size matters. The value of pearls increases as the size increases because larger sizes are rarer.
Lustre and surface is the first thing you notice about a pearl. Pearls have an inner glow which results from rays of light travelling through the numerous layers of nacre and being reflected from within the pearl. If the surface of a pearl acts as a mirror, this is about as good as a pearl can be. Nearly all pearls will have imperfection or flaw, a spot or tiny dent. This gives them character.
Circle or ringed pearls from Australia make popular strands because they can be large, white in colour and have excellent lustre for a fraction of the price. They are created naturally within the mollusc when there is rotation and constriction within the muscle, a little like a potter’s lathe and a pot being handcrafted, except it take years for a circle pearl to be formed.
The length of a strand is personal choice. Fine boned petite women look great in short choker and graduated strands. Larger ladies can languish in longer strands that flatter the face and body rather than draw attention to the chin and neckline.
The beauty of a string of pearls is that they are adaptable. Your asset can be transformed by adding length with similar pearls or making a work of art by adding contrasting colours for variety. Strands are individually hand knotted with 4 threads running through the drill hole and anchored within the strand, a task I relish.
I urge you to try on a pearl strand! You will be impressed by how heavy they are and how they warm up on your skin and light up your face so beautifully.