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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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14-Karat Yellow-Gold and Pearl Necklace L approx: 49 in
Jun 18, 10:00 AM EDT
14-Karat Yellow-Gold and Pearl Necklace L approx: 49 in
by Weschler's
Est: $50- $100
$759 Bids
Pearl & Seashell Turquoise Necklace W Sterling
Jun 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Pearl & Seashell Turquoise Necklace W Sterling
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$218 Bids
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14K CLASP STRAND OF PEARLS, APPROX. 50CM
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
14K CLASP STRAND OF PEARLS, APPROX. 50CM
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD406 Bids
French 18K Gold and Freshwater Pearl Necklace
Jun 29, 11:00 AM EDT
French 18K Gold and Freshwater Pearl Necklace
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $200- $15,000
$4505 Bids
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FRESH WATER PEARL BRACELET + MULTI-COLOURED PEARL NECKLACE
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
FRESH WATER PEARL BRACELET + MULTI-COLOURED PEARL NECKLACE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD304 Bids
A CULTURED FRESHWATER PEARL AND MOTHER OF PEARL NECKLACE
Jun 20, 3:30 PM AEST
A CULTURED FRESHWATER PEARL AND MOTHER OF PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD404 Bids
A baroque pearl necklace featuring silver gilt clasp (L:44cm)
Jun 20, 1:00 PM AEST
A baroque pearl necklace featuring silver gilt clasp (L:44cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD253 Bids
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STERLING SILVER, JADE AND BLISTER PEARL AND BAR NECKLACE, WEIGHT 8.6G, APPROX. LENGTH 50CM
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
STERLING SILVER, JADE AND BLISTER PEARL AND BAR NECKLACE, WEIGHT 8.6G, APPROX. LENGTH 50CM
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD203 Bids
A CULTURED PEARL AND MOTHER PEARL NECKLACE
Jun 20, 3:30 PM AEST
A CULTURED PEARL AND MOTHER PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD90
AUD252 Bids
A PEARL NECKLACE
Jun 20, 3:30 PM AEST
A PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD140
AUD252 Bids
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TRADITIONAL INDIAN BRIDAL PEARL NECKLACE, GOLD TONE MOUNTS SET WITH PEARLS, RED AND GREEN STONES
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
TRADITIONAL INDIAN BRIDAL PEARL NECKLACE, GOLD TONE MOUNTS SET WITH PEARLS, RED AND GREEN STONES
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD152 Bids
A CULTURED FRESHWATER BAROQUE PEARL NECKLACE
Jun 20, 3:30 PM AEST
A CULTURED FRESHWATER BAROQUE PEARL NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD70- AUD100
AUD252 Bids
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TWO MULTI-STRAND PEARL NECKLACES, ONE AF
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
TWO MULTI-STRAND PEARL NECKLACES, ONE AF
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD152 Bids
Tahiti-Zuchtperlencollier.
Jun 21, 10:00 AM CEST
Tahiti-Zuchtperlencollier.
by Dannenberg
Est: €100- €120
€1001 Bid
Tahiti-Zuchtperlencollier.
Jun 21, 10:00 AM CEST
Tahiti-Zuchtperlencollier.
by Dannenberg
Est: €100- €120
€1001 Bid
Opera Length Cultured Pearls
Jun 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Opera Length Cultured Pearls
by Hallmark Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$751 Bid
Very long strand of large, high end faux pearls. 58"L x 1/2"W
Jun 24, 3:00 PM EDT
Very long strand of large, high end faux pearls. 58"L x 1/2"W
by Ripley Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
Spiney Shell and Pearl Necklace
Jun 27, 10:00 AM CDT
Spiney Shell and Pearl Necklace
by Hallmark Auctions
Est: $200- $225
$501 Bid
Japanese Gold Mounted "Akoya" Pearl Necklace
Jun 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Japanese Gold Mounted "Akoya" Pearl Necklace
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
Purple Twisted Cord Necklace, Large Faux Pearl Necklace, Bold Lion Necklace and More
Jun 27, 9:00 AM EDT
Purple Twisted Cord Necklace, Large Faux Pearl Necklace, Bold Lion Necklace and More
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Faux Pearl Beaded Necklace W Sterling Clasp
Jun 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Faux Pearl Beaded Necklace W Sterling Clasp
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
A SILVER PEARL AND STONE SET NECKLACE
Jun 20, 3:30 PM AEST
A SILVER PEARL AND STONE SET NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD201 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Pearl Necklaces


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery

Rose's Antiques

Rose's Antiques

Aste Boetto SRL

Aste Boetto SRL