A group of pearls in a variety of sizes and colors.

The Pearl Is Back and the Rules Have Changed

The pearl has returned to the limelight, making appearances in a wide range of new and modern 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 trends feature mixing colors for a refreshing look. Basic pearl cups and findings are transforming 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.

Trend #1: A Pearl of a Different Color

A group of pearls in a variety of colors.

In the first trend we're watching, 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 coordinating 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 vividly iridescent trio of Tahitian black, purple and gray.

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

A variety of post ring and earring mountings.

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. Designers are pairing gold components with delicate filigree wire that cradles a half-drilled pearl to make a stunning combination. These findings are ideal for creating individual pieces or matching sets, as well as embellishing other designs with half-drilled round, oval or drop pearls.

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

Single post pearl earrings

In our third trend to watch for, earring backs are being replaced 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 black onyx or silver bead backs are also making appearances behind earrlobes. Designers looking for 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.

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

Combined strands of pearls 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 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.

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