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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.
Cachette long necklace with detachable ring, White gold, rose gold, one pear-shaped pink sapphire of 4.14 carats (Madagascar), one cushion-cut ruby of 2.33 carats (Burma), pink sapphires, coral, white cultured pearls, diamonds, Le Secret collection
Gouaché of the Cachette long necklace with detachable ring, White gold, rose gold, one pear-shaped pink sapphire of 4.14 carats (Madagascar), one cushion-cut ruby of 2.33 carats (Burma), pink sapphires, coral, white cultured pearls, diamonds, Le Secret collection
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.
Necklace with detachable clip, 1973, White gold, platinum, yellow gold, cultured pearls, diamonds, Heritage collection
Papillon trèfle perle necklace, White gold, tsavorite garnets, black spinels, white cultured pearls, diamonds, Palais de la chance collection
Bunch of grapes brooch, circa 1915, White gold, natural pearls, diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection
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.