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Pearls occur naturally within certain shells. They are made up of successive layers of nacre, whence their brilliant, iridescent appearance. At Van Cleef & Arpels, their shimmering reflections are used to embellish High Jewelry creations such as earrings and long necklaces.
Symbols of love, success and happiness, they take their name from the Latin perla, meaning “shell.” Pearls come in a variety of colors including white, black, blue, green, pink and purple. The first written reference to pearls dates from the 2nd century BC in China. Through the ages, they have graced finery worn by members of noble and royal families.
Today, cultured pearls are the most common, as natural or “fine” pearls are exceedingly rare. The quality of a pearl is determined by its orient – the iridescent property of the nacre – as well as its luster. To create its pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels selects pearls with a smooth and satiny surface, perfectly round shape and exceptional color.
Pearls are symbols of love, success and happiness.
For proper maintenance, the Maison recommends cleaning pearls with a soft, dry cloth and avoiding contact with cosmetic products. Pearls are delicate materials that must often be worn and stored in a box lined with cotton fabric.