As a admirer of large Emeralds, I was interested to read a article in Jewellery World Magazine, that mentioned a 107.67 carat Emerald and Diamond Necklace once owned by Catherine the Great which was sold at Christies for 3.3 million Pounds Sterling.
In 1874 Tsar Alexandra II presented the stone to his newly wed daughter in-law The Grand Duchess Vladamir who was well known for her incredible jewellery collection and her penchant for gambling at cards. After fleeing Russia to Venice when the revolution began in 1918, the grand duchess fled wearing only her daily jewels like strings of pearls it was said, and landed in Venice. Later her fabulous collection, left behind in her homeland was still in tact and miraculously appeared in London where her son was at the time. The jewels had been smuggled out, by a sympathetic British officer, no doubt a good friend of the family and very trustworthy.
Some of The Grand Duchess’s jewellery is currently owned by Queen Elizabeth, whose grandmother, bought some pieces from impoverished Russian aristocracy.
Bought for the young Shirley Temple by her father as an investment for her when Shirley was 12, in 1940, this 9.54 ct flawless blue diamond was set in platinum. Shirley wore this diamond her entire life. Mr Temple paid the enormous price at the time of $7,210.
The ring held by her estate after she died in 2014, was bought privately. Two years after the buyers put it up for auction at Sotheby’s hoping to reach 25-35 million. When it didn’t not meet the reserve and was passed in the ring was acquired by the jewellery dealers Windsor Jewellers, who took the chance to re-cut the flawless jewel.
The outcome was a 9.3 carat richer blue, diamond which will be forever known as the blue diamond that was loved and worn by the great Shirley Temple.
Yesterday I was discussing a little of the history regarding the wearing of pearls by women through the ages. I mentioned that there had been discoveries of art found in ruins from the ancient Roman and Greek times in the first century. I was pleased to find some images of well preserved murals and floor mosaics that were uncovered in the ruins of Pompeii showing just what I had hoped to see. Ladies wearing pearls.
These woman must have cut handsome figures during her life in the ancient city and we are lucky enough centuries later to see how women adorned themselves in their finery, including pearls (seen here).
ON 24th August AD79 Mt Vesuvius erupted with fire and lava, spreading molt in every direction, yet not over the actual city Pompeii. 2000 died from asphyxiation. Weirdly enough, the mix, of volcanic ash and mud is what entombed them preserving them for centuries until the remains were unearthed in 1748.
Why is it that white pearls are a forever favourite, among any generation. I love tracing the history of pearl wearing through Art and have dedicated a whole Pin to it on my Pinterest Page called Pearls Through History. There is no doubt at all white pearls were always precious to their wearers. I think I have collected every single portrait painting ever created, throughout the decades and as we know pearls were discovered prior to any master painter’s subject and were only worn by royalty or gentry. There is early proof in the discovery of wall mosaic in Greece, I believe. with a fine lady wearing a strand of what appear to be white pearls.
The thing is as a designer of pearl jewellery for two decades, keeping things new with white pearls in mind can be challenging. How do we, as designers do that, without ruining the magnificence and the purity of a white organic pearl necklace yet also create a new look that will still remain classical.
I like to add a touch of sterling silver or gold vermeil and change up the textures with different shapes of pearls yet keep the quality high and lustre of an AA pearl.
I think my “Asymmetrical” necklaces have been the big winner. The meaning according to the Dictionary is “having parts which fail to correspond to one another in shape, size, or arrangement; lacking symmetry”. Yes!!!
Most women today have a set of white short pearls hopefully organic ones (that I concentrate on making for my clients). Being established since 1998, many a Julleen, long white pearl necklace has been sold over that time! and it’s arguably our best style.
Why is it that Pearls have been held in such esteem, among most women for what seems like for ever. Pearls are worn for any social gathering, be it a ball, or a special night at the opera, a wedding, a ladies luncheon, a high tea, a christening, anniversary, worn and bought for big birthday and then of course there are those, who wouldn’t wear anything else but a white pearl necklace to a funeral (not to be too morbid but it is the perfect gem for this time) I believe it is a case of continuity and pearls make you feel so good when worn. True too that a certain type of girl wears pearls. It’s not for no reason, girls love pearls and boys love girls who love pearls. I have been wearing pearls since I was 18!
Who can blame anyone for loving pearls. they simply never ever date EVER!
These days I only supply two outlets Mariko in South Perth and Woody Nook in Margaret River, but they have both been carrying the Julleen ranges for nearly 20 years. I guess that shows that people like what I do. I usually make for the love of making and sell my designs myself, either on my own sites or on Etsy ,or to my friends and old clients who still love and wear their own Julleen Designs 20 years on.
At this point I usually add a few pics to share and as I have been making quite a few white pearl necklaces of late, that I like to brag about, at being totally original, as that’s what they are, I will add some below for those who like to see what happens when I set my mind to creating. Here are just some of the designs I have loved making.
I get bored easily when doing straight plain white pearls I figure there are just so many out there doing this and so for the last 20 years I have made it something I have avoided. Yet when I mix up the pearls and set a load of different varieties in front of me and begin selecting the shapes I know will look fabulous I get a bit more enthused.
Here’s what I have been busy doing over this last long weekend. Sometimes a girl needs to have a few days of uninterrupted designing time.
I just completed a pretty white and bronze pearl necklace. At 29 inches it is considered a cocktail length necklace, coming just under a low neckline.
I like to make what are fashion colours for each new season and brown with white seems so popular at the moment. I used the bronze baby button pearls as the highlighting pearl with lovely 9 mm white AA pearls. I added a sparkly gold tone ball clasp and vermeil (textured) Florentine caps. I really like this look of a two toned white pearl necklace.
I thought I would share what a carpet of pearls look like. It’s magic seeing so many strands lined up. I have set my task for this long weekend to make a few more long white necklaces and may add some colours to the mix. To get myself in the mood I start inspecting the pearls I have in stock to begin the process of hand picking suitable even matches, to make the strands look as beautifully put together as I can.