The Pearl Is Back and the Rules Have Changed

Read this article to learn about four ways to incorporate pearls into your modern jewelry designs.

Last edited: 10/1/2019
Pearl strands and loose pearls on a gray background

The pearl has returned to the limelight, making appearances in a wide range of new and modern jewelry designs. While there's no denying that the creamy sheen of a classic white pearl necklace is the mark of elegance, our buyers have noticed four popular trends involving this shimmering Queen of Gems.

These jewelry trends feature mixing colors for a refreshing look. Basic pearl cups and findings have transformed into fine details and filigree patterns. Pearls are now serving as earring backs or being accentuated with new styles of jackets. And finally, strands of pearls and mixed metal chains are being combined for a chic layered look. Yes, the pearl is back—and with it comes a whole new set of rules.

A close-up of strands with a variety of colorful pearls

Trend #1: A Pearl of a Different Color

In the first trend we're watching, pearl necklaces strung with mixed colors are increasing in popularity as an alternative to classic creamy white. When pearls of all colors—natural and color-treated—are mixed and matched, their smooth, shimmering finish becomes the unifying element that ties the selection together.

Designers are presenting harmonious combinations that include the warm overtones of chocolate and peach, the metallic glimmer of Raven's Wing and lavender, or the vivid trio of black, purple and gray.

Set and unset filigree pearl mountings

Trend #2: It's in the Details—Pearls and Filigree Findings

The fine details of filigree components that contrast beautifully with the smooth, silky texture of pearls are at the forefront of our second featured trend. Filigree-style findings with pearl pegs are ideal for creating individual pieces or matching sets, as well as embellishing other designs with half-drilled round, oval or drop pearls.

Designers are pairing gold components with delicate filigree wire that cradles a half-drilled pearl to make a stunning combination.

Pearl earring posts with large pearl backs

Trend #3: Back It Up with Pearl Backs and Earring Jackets

In our third trend to watch for, earring nuts are being replaced with earring backs and jackets set with larger pearls as a bold way to make a modern statement. And with the help of double-ended pearl post mountings that allow you to mix and match pearls with other half-drilled beads and gemstones, other options like onyx or silver bead backs are also making appearances behind earlobes.

Designers exploring other ways to accent post earrings are creating new looks by pairing earring jackets with pearl mountings—simply choose pearl colors that coordinate with the gem of your choice

Close-up of combined chain and pearl strands

Trend #4: Layers of Pearl Strands and Mixed Metal Chains

And finally, for a daring layered look, combine strands of pearls with mixed metal chain. This is a surefire hit with fashion-forward customers and the rules are simple.

Combine pearl colors, sizes and shapes—the more pearl strands you add, the stronger your statement becomes. Mix in delicate chains in a variety of metal types and colors for a layered look that works great as a necklace or bracelet.