Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Style & Fashion
  3. Fashion Trends

Pearls, power, wealth, and nobility

See also

Jewelry couture was all about pearls in 16th century Europe. Pearls were about power, especially among monarchs, queens, kings, and aristocrats. They represented wealth, and only the noble were allowed to wear them, according to the laws of the land at that time.

To say that the Queen of England, Elizabeth I, was crazy about pearls might be the understatement of the century. During her reign, which began in 1558, she adorned herself with multiple lengthy necklaces of the lustrous beauties. Her clothes, caps, and skirts were sewn with pearly strands. Picks in her hair were positioned with individual pearls.

Let me mention the rarity of pearls in that era. The Queen’s pearls were not made in pearl production farms in China as many are made today. Then, they were found as natural pearls, one by one, typically by fishermen during a lifetime of access to warm shallow waters and fortuitous encounters with the infrequent accident of a mollusk making a pearl from a grain of sand. To say pearls were scarce back then is another understatement.

Nothing much changed for the nobility of today. The Queen’s Jewels is a personal collection of gemstone jewelry of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II. Many of the pearl pieces in that collection originated with Elizabeth I in the 16th century. The collection grew from sources including the spoils of war to gifts for the monarch, as if there weren't enough gemstone jewelry to satisfy the high born ladies.

Fortunately for us, the women of today need not be noble, powerful, wealthy, or well known to wear pearls. Pearls, especially the freshwater varieties, fall within the affordability of ordinary folks. And, what's new in pearl jewelry includes larger size and variety of shapes. So, ladies, put on your pearls and feel like the Queen of England!

Advertisement

Life

  • ESPYS party
    Athletes and celebrities hit the red carpet at Body at the ESPYS party
    Today's Buzz
  • Using metalic paint
    Metallic paint can be used to refinish furniture or to create the illusion of a larger space
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Gardening
    Have you ever started a garden and found a lone tomato straggler in with the strawberries?
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Adopt a shelter cat
    Ten great reasons to adopt a shelter cat: Just ask Willie Nelson's family
    Camera
    9 Photos
  • Chikungunya virus
    Health news: Chikungunya virus has hit a man in Florida
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Oaks Spa
    Just keep moving is theme at Oaks at Ojai, California’s primo budget spa
    Camera
    6 Photos