Did you know that pearls are known as the world’s oldest gemstone? Pearls created by nature are very rare and very valuable and were once accessible only to the upper class. They were considered to be a status symbol of wealth and superiority by such elites.
This changed somewhat when it was discovered that man could make a pearl also known as a cultured or farmed pearl. Pearl farms sprung up all over Japan in the 1930’s creating millions of pearls a year, making them widely available to the marketplace. However, pearls continued to represent a sort of societal image for decades. Remember Coco Chanel in her iconic portrait(s) with strands of pearls draped around her neck and Audrey Hepburn wearing multiple strands of pearls in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, how they both exuded an air of status in their respective roles.
Today, pearls are widely accessible and more affordable to the consumer at large. Cultured pearls are still considered “real” pearls. They are graded and priced by degree of color, shape, quality and origin, along with other factors. You will find that prices range significantly.
Costume pearls or “imitation” pearls are manufactured using other materials such as glass and acrylic, and were widely used in making much of the vintage costume jewelry we covet today. The most prolific costume jewelry and fashion designers of the past used imitation pearls to create and embellish their designs. Old stock vintage imitation pearls are still available, new imitation pearls are still being manufactured and they continue to be used by high end jewelry and fashion designers alike.
Let’s be clear - there is no shame in imitation pearls!
So far my favorite pearls are vintage costume pearls! They are a perfect compliment to any style. Classic and versatile, these pearls continue to impress with a true sense of timeless fashion and style for all ages! It’s no wonder pearls, whether real or imitation, have withstood the test of time!
The pearls featured here are vintage Japanese mod acrylic pearls. They were made in Japan in the 1950’s using an acrylic base that is heavily layered with pearlized glass. They are lightweight and come many shapes and sizes. They glow a vintage color and patina that is remarkable. They are elegant & affordable. They are not “real” pearls but who cares! Just about anyone can afford them. They are beautiful and practical. Dress them up or dress them down. They go with anything and -anything goes when it comes to vintage costume pearls.
I hope you will consider trying vintage costume pearls for yourself or for your favorite person for any reason, for any occasion or at any time.
The Simple Vintage Pearl Collection jewelry shown here is available now.
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If you don't see what you are looking for in the store, let me know; I may just have it!
With timeless jewelry that's always in fashion -