Pearls: How to Wear Them

Accessorize With All Types of Pearls

pearl necklacesWhen you think of pearls, what pops into your mind first? Most of us probably think about a cluster of white, shiny beads tightly strung together on a classic princess length necklace. But did you know there are other types of pearls and even more ways to wear them all? Here at Rebecca Lankford Designs, we love all kinds of pearls and have a blast accessorizing and designing jewelry with them! To begin, here is a brief explanation about the different pearl types and how you can distinguish each one from the rest.


Types of Pearls


In the past, most natural pearls have been harvested from the Persian Gulf, but today, most of those have already been found. This makes natural pearls all the more valuable and rare. Although today, most pearls are cultured pearls (farmed by humans), natural pearls are formed in the ocean by mollusks. Depending on where in the ocean the mollusk is located, the final shape, size, and color of the pearl will vary. Additionally, some mollusks will only produce one pearl at a time, while others will produce several.


There are several different kinds of saltwater pearls. All of these can be used to make beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more.

South Sea Pearls are the largest and rarest type of pearl. They are typically the most expensive and can be white or grayish in color, with hues of pale pink and silver. These pearls have an extremely bright luster and are frequently used to make all kinds of jewelry pieces, like the choker below.

south sea pearls choker

Akoya Pearls are what most people consider to be the classic pearl. When it comes to the art of jewelry-making, Akoya pearls are the most commonly used for pearl necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

akoya pearl dangle earrings

Click here to view these Pearl Dangle Earrings

Tahitian pearls are also known as “black pearls” due to their dark appearance. Even still, they brag beautiful overtones of blue, green and silver. They are treasured for their dramatic flair and are less “classic” than the traditional white pearls we all know and love.

tahitian pearl earrings

Click here to view these Tahitian Pearl & Sapphire Earrings


Freshwater pearls are exactly what they sound like: pearls that are grown in fresh water. This can be a lake, pond or river. One of the most well-known types of freshwater pearls is Biwa pearls. These beauties are not the typical round shape and can be a wide range of pastel colors.

biwa pearl choker

Click here to view this Biwa Pearl Choker

How to Wear Pearls

Wearing pearls is fun and there are countless ways to mix and match your pearl earrings, chokers, and bracelets. Despite what popular culture has taught us, pearls aren’t just reserved for fancy three-course meals and stately events. Pearls can be worn for any and all occasions, and even with your favorite pair of jeans!

If you are wearing pearls to a special event and your outfit is very ornate, opt for smaller, simpler pearls. On the other hand, if your dress is a plain, solid color, a colorful and long strand of pearls (or even several strands) will complement your look perfectly. Additionally, if you’re wearing your hair up, a simple dangling pair of pearl earrings will be stunning.

If you are wearing pearls to the office, make sure not to overpower your outfit with a pearl necklace, pearl bracelet, and pearl earrings all at once. Just choose one! Otherwise, you’ll risk looking way too overdressed.

Pearls can even compliment casual at-home clothing. Just make sure your pearl necklace matches your neckline – meaning if your shirt has a deep neckline, longer strands of pearls are great. But if your shirt doesn’t have a neckline, try a princess length pearl necklace.

It can also be helpful to know the different lengths of pearl necklaces:

      • Choker: fits snugly around the base of your neck
      • Collar: wraps snugly around your throat
      • Princess: drapes down to about your collarbone
      • Matinee: hangs down about 24 inches
      • Opera: more dramatic length; up to 36 inches
      • Rope: longest length; anything longer than opera length

Pearls are always a classy option, whether you’re headed to work, going out for a date night or headed to the farmer’s market.

For more jewelry fashion tips, continue browsing the RLD blog. Otherwise, shop pearl necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more at Rebecca Lankford Designs!

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