For some it's a matter of superstition. “In my family,” a friend whispered, “they symbolize tears.” For others it’s simply impractical. “Pearls must be last jewelry on, first jewelry off. They are sensitive to fragrance and makeup and moisturizer,” one jewelry naysayer wrote. “I wouldn’t want to keep removing my engagement ring every time I put on hand lotion or perfume.” But others supported the trend. “Pearls mean purity and they are a natural wonder—a miracle that happens despite it all. That sounds like love doesn’t it?”
The reactions came swiftly after images of Ariana Grande’s engagement ring, a diamond set with a pearl on the side, appeared with her announcement this week. It followed similar responses to Emma Stone’s engagement ring, and Michelle Williams too.
The pearl as engagement ring is not entirely new—Barbara Hutton got a black pearl ring one time out of seven—but it is an unusual choice. And, given the delicate properties of the pearl—a devotion to care is required.
Daphne Lingon, Head of Jewels for Christie’s Americas, explains that “pearls have always been a classic staple in jewelry and have transcended time and fashion. While pearls may not have always been regarded as a choice for engagement rings, this is a trend that is emerging. When selecting a pearl ring, you will need to decide if you would like a cultured pearl or a natural pearl, the latter being the more expensive of the two choices and then the overall style from the Edwardian or Art Deco periods or a more contemporary look. You will also need to take extra care of a pearl ring, especially if it’s being worn every day as the material is organic and does not wear as well as a diamond, sapphire, ruby, or other gemstone.”
The care required for a pearl is something to take note of, but perhaps it is an apt symbol of the level of the commitment itself?
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