Pearl, the June birthstone, has always had universal appeal. A simple strand of pearls has been the go-to jewelry accessory for generations of women everywhere.
Until the late 19th century, Oriental pearls (those produced by the pearl oyster in sea water ) were regarded as more precious than diamonds, because collecting a perfectly-matched string of pearls took years. Fortunately for most of us, artificial pearls have been used in jewelry since the Renaissance. They were first made in France, the producer that remained in the forefront until the mid-20th century. Aside from the cost factor, artificial pearls have enabled designers to create imaginative and beautiful pieces that we would never see in precious jewelry, even if we could afford them.
One of the most notable 20th century French makers of artificial pearls was Louis Rousselet, who started business in 1922. His factory became a major source of handmade beads worldwide until the late 1960s. This Louis Rousselet necklace and earrings set is a stunning example of 1950s French costume jewelry. The designer has artfully enhanced four strands of baroque pearls in various sizes with the addition of blown-glass beads in gemstone colors and rhinestone rondelles. The faux amethyst, sapphire, emerald and ruby beads make this piece incredibly versatile. Simply choose which color you wish to emphasize and repeat it in clothing and/or other accessories. Here are four very different outfits put together with the types of pieces you may already have in your closet and this exquisite necklace. Each look is designed to make you feel extraordinary!
How to Wear It
1. Accessories in shades of purple pop on this black-and-white outfit of jeans, tee shirt and knitted jacket. The pearl necklace is the star attraction in this smart-casual ensemble that is right for Sunday brunch and other off-duty activities where you want to look your best. Add amethyst stud earrings if you have them.
2. I love the combination of black and bright blue. Wear this necklace with a blue jacket for a day at the office and a night on the town. I’ve added these Sapphire Drop Art Deco Earrings, to complement the blue theme.
3. Here’s another day-to-night ensemble. This one shows a claret-colored sheath with a cream blazer for the office, gold peep-toe pumps and bag, and the earrings that match the necklace. You could wear the same accessories with a sheath in another gemstone color for another elegant look.
4. For this evening outfit, I’ve chosen an emerald silk top to wear with the black silk-blend faille pants and silk blazer. Black evening sandals and an emerald green evening bag complete this très chic look.
For More Pearl Vintage Jewels
Visit the TruFaux Jewels boutique to see my June Birthstone: Pearl collection here. Find out more about birthstones in my recent blog post Celebrate Mother’s Day with a Vintage Birthstone Jewel.