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Pearl Necklaces

Since antiquity, pearls have been a coveted commodity both for their beauty and their fantastical beginnings. Early cultures developed fanciful origin stories for the luminous spheres. Ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, thought pearls formed after oysters swallowed dewdrops.

Later, Renaissance and Baroque cultures assumed the pearl was the oyster’s egg. By the 18th century, the actual origin a pearl’s formation had been deduced, but its celebrity was already established.

One of the early challenges of incorporating pearls into necklace strands was the fact that, since they are a product of nature, they are rarely uniformly round. This uniformity is important, as it will determine the lay of the strand along the neckline. Some elaborate pearl necklaces over history waited months, if not years, for the necessary pearls to be discovered.

In the late 19th century, however, the cultured pearl was developed. These pearls, which involve manual rather than natural seeding, are grown in farm beds and typically result in more uniform shapes and sizes.


Quick Facts

  • During the Byzantine era, many thought that pearls provided resistance against disease. This is why the famous 7th-century mosaic of Empress Theodora at Italy’s Basilica of Ravenna depicts her wearing a headdress bedecked with dangling pearl strands
  • According to jewelry lore, Jacques Cartier, descendent of the family lineage of the Cartier jewelry brand, purchased his store location on New York’s Fifth Avenue in the early 20th century in exchange for two spectacular pearl necklaces
  • The largest cultured pearl recorded is the Paspaley Pearl. Measuring roughly 20.4 millimeters, the pearl is almost 50 percent larger than the average cultured pearl and is one of the most perfectly round cultured pearls ever produced

Recommended Items at Auction

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Large fresh water pearl necklace with very intricate fob clasp. Approx 50cm
Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
Large fresh water pearl necklace with very intricate fob clasp. Approx 50cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD120- AUD150
AUD9013 Bids
A SOUTH SEA PEARL AND QUARTZ NECKLACE
Apr 18, 3:30 PM AEST
A SOUTH SEA PEARL AND QUARTZ NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD700- AUD900
AUD806 Bids
A MULTISTRAND PEARL AND CORAL NECKLACE
Apr 18, 3:30 PM AEST
A MULTISTRAND PEARL AND CORAL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD605 Bids
Baroque Pearls in white lustre with 925 Sterling Silver hooks. Approx 3.5cm Long
Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
Baroque Pearls in white lustre with 925 Sterling Silver hooks. Approx 3.5cm Long
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD354 Bids
A ROPE LENGTH PEARL NECKLACE
Apr 18, 3:30 PM AEST
A ROPE LENGTH PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD70- AUD100
AUD354 Bids
Pearl Necklace With 14k Gold Clasp
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Pearl Necklace With 14k Gold Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$154 Bids
Large White fresh water pearl necklace.
Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
Large White fresh water pearl necklace.
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD150
AUD253 Bids
A jade, baroque cultured pearl and 14k gold 4-strand necklace
Apr 19, 9:30 AM PDT
A jade, baroque cultured pearl and 14k gold 4-strand necklace
by Clars Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3503 Bids
Large Apricot Fresh water pearls with boltring L:90cm
Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
Large Apricot Fresh water pearls with boltring L:90cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD253 Bids
14k Gold Tahitian Pearl & Diamond Necklace
Apr 21, 9:00 AM MST
14k Gold Tahitian Pearl & Diamond Necklace
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$403 Bids
Roberto Coin Style 18k Gold and Natural Pearl Necklace
Apr 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Roberto Coin Style 18k Gold and Natural Pearl Necklace
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $100- $1,000
$503 Bids
Fine 20mm-10mm Natural Color South Sea Baroque Pearl Necklace, 18k Gold Clasp
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Fine 20mm-10mm Natural Color South Sea Baroque Pearl Necklace, 18k Gold Clasp
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$2,2502 Bids
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Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 37cm
Apr 18, 2:00 PM AEST
Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 37cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD3802 Bids
14k Gold And 3 Strand Pearl Necklace
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
14k Gold And 3 Strand Pearl Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$102 Bids
CULTURED AKOYA PEARL LONG STRAND NECKLACE
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
CULTURED AKOYA PEARL LONG STRAND NECKLACE
by Potomack Company
Est: $200- $400
$1252 Bids
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Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 75cm
Apr 18, 2:00 PM AEST
Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 75cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2702 Bids
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Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 70cm
Apr 18, 2:00 PM AEST
Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 70cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2702 Bids
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Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 40cm
Apr 18, 2:00 PM AEST
Strand of Akoya Pearls, length 40cm
by Shapiro Auctioneers
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2702 Bids
Pearl Necklace With 10k White Gold Clasp
Apr 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Pearl Necklace With 10k White Gold Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$72 Bids
A GRADUATED TAHITIAN PEARL NECKLACE
Apr 18, 3:30 PM AEST
A GRADUATED TAHITIAN PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD600- AUD800
AUD1102 Bids
24" STERLING SILVER ~10.6MM PEARL NECKLACE
Apr 20, 11:00 AM EDT
24" STERLING SILVER ~10.6MM PEARL NECKLACE
by Lakelands Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
14K White Gold South Sea Pearl & Diamond Necklace.
Apr 22, 10:00 AM AEST
14K White Gold South Sea Pearl & Diamond Necklace.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD602 Bids
Charles de Temple - A late 20th century cultured pearl and diamond 'Wrapped' necklace,
Apr 25, 10:00 AM BST
Charles de Temple - A late 20th century cultured pearl and diamond 'Wrapped' necklace,
by Cheffins
Est: £4,000- £6,000
£3,2002 Bids
Tahitiian Gray Cultured Pearl Necklace
Apr 17, 12:00 PM EDT
Tahitiian Gray Cultured Pearl Necklace
by Doyle New York
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,1002 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Pearl Necklaces


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

HVMC - Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo

HVMC - Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery