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Pearl Necklaces

The epitome of timeless style, pearl necklaces offer versatile looks. Choose a short pearl choker to accentuate an outfit, long looping multi-strands of pearls for a classic look, a single pearl necklace for a touch of luster for your collection or a contemporary single strand of pearls. Whether you’re adding a real pearl necklace to your jewelry wardrobe or giving this jewelry staple as a gift, you’re sure to find the perfect necklace from our collection. Each necklace features gorgeous and expertly cultured pearls of the freshwater, South Sea, Tahitian or Akoya varieties in shades from white to gray and even black pearls.
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Pearl Necklace

FAQs about Pearl Necklaces

How much is a real pearl necklace?

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Real pearl necklaces are available at a wide range of price points, from affordable silver pearl pendants to more luxurious pearl strand necklaces with gold clasps. Cultured pearl necklaces are the most affordable option for this jewelry, featuring real pearls that have been created in oysters with the help of expert intervention. 

Natural pearls formed in wild oysters are incredibly rare and generally not found on the market. Instead, nearly all jewelry quality pearls are cultured, and cultured pearl necklaces are every bit as beautiful, every bit as real and come at a much more affordable cost. Learn more about pearls in our detailed pearl education guide.

Are pearl necklaces in style?

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Yes, necklaces with pearls have always been in style. Pearl necklaces have always been a favorite of royalty, celebrities and American politicians, gracing the necks of Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Kamala Harris, Harry Styles and even Joc Pederson. These classic and versatile gemstones are still very much in style, from bold multi-strand pieces to delicate pendants that make a more subtle statement. With so many options, it’s easy to dazzle in a lustrous pearl necklace that looks as chic as ever.

What is the best way to wear pearls?

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Pearl necklaces have traditionally been seen as formal jewelry, with shorter styles exuding a more sophisticated appeal. Today, it's becoming common to see pearls worn with everyday outfits as well. Pearl pendants or pearl strand necklaces make a fantastic pairing with a casual top and your favorite jeans. South Sea cultured pearl necklaces with larger pearls make gorgeous statement pieces, while Tahitian cultured pearl necklaces are great for adding a subtle pop of color to your ensemble. 

How can you tell if a pearl is real?

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When shopping for pearl necklaces, you want to be sure you are getting the real thing. Fake pearls made of glass or plastic have a perfectly smooth surface. Real pearls, because they are formed in living oysters, have a slightly uneven surface and vary in size, color and luster. 

A real pearl necklace can feel cool to the touch if it hasn't been worn or handled for some time. Once you hold onto the pearls or wear them, they will slowly warm up to your body temperature. Typically, real pearls will be considerably heavier than fake ones.

You may have seen people in old movies test pearl jewelry with their teeth. It’s believed that if you run a real pearl across a tooth, you'll feel resistance you won't feel if you do the same with a fake pearl. While the tooth test is a creative way to test pearls, the best way to ensure that your pearls are real is to buy from a trusted retailer like us.

What are the different kinds of pearls?

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The four main kinds of cultured pearls are South Sea, Akoya, Tahitian and freshwater. Akoya pearl necklaces are the most popular due to their classic look, while freshwater pearl necklaces have a similar style at a more affordable price. South Sea pearl necklaces offer pearls of exceptional size and smoothness, and Tahitian pearl necklaces are known for their deep hues of black, purple, blue and green. 

What is a tin cup necklace?

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Also known as a pearl station necklace, tin cup necklaces are named after the 1996 film in which Rene Russo wore the now-iconic necklace style.

What styles of pearl necklaces are popular?

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Pearl necklaces are available in many different styles to match any jewelry wardrobe. Pearl pendant necklaces offer understated elegance to a look. Pearl strand necklaces are often worn for special occasions, though they're also perfect for adding glamour to everyday looks as well.

Single pearl necklaces in sterling silver or white gold are popular styles that are perfect for special occasion gifts. Necklaces with gleaming yellow gold offer a rich contrast for lighter freshwater pearls, while designs with dark South Sea pearls often feature white gold or platinum to contrast the pearl’s unique color.

Our most popular styles are pieces with precious metals, such as silver and gold pearl necklaces.

What are baroque necklaces?

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Named for their signature irregularity, baroque pearls are unique gems. Often Tahitian or freshwater pearls, baroque pearls have formed into non-uniform shapes. Baroque pearls are often strung together to create a one-of-a-kind pearl necklace that brings a nontraditional style to this popular jewelry. As necklaces, they are very organic-looking and can be the perfect conversation piece.

What does wearing a pearl necklace mean?

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Pearls are believed to embody wisdom and purity. The symbolic ties to wisdom make pearl necklaces a wonderful gift for graduates. With many different symbols for pearls, wearing a pearl necklace can also simply mean that the wearer appreciates the timeless beauty of this gem.

Can pearls be worn every day?

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Pearls are best saved for special occasions, especially if you are considering wearing pearl strands. Pearl pendants on precious metals, such as gold or silver pearl necklaces, can be a bit more durable. Single pearl necklaces are also more suited for daily wear.

Are pearls damaged easily?

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Gemstones are scored for their toughness along a system called the Mohs scale, with 1 being the most fragile gems and 10 being the most durable. Pearls are a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, while diamonds are a 10. This shows that pearls are soft and can be scratched easily. They can also be damaged by lotions or other chemicals. Pearl strands are often strung along with silk that has extra considerations as well. That being said, pearls are only damaged if they’re exposed to damaging situations. Carefully wearing pearls, avoiding chemicals and keeping pearl necklaces clean will help keep them at their very best.

How should I care for pearl necklaces?

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When wearing pearl necklaces, make sure to avoid letting them come into contact with cosmetics like lotion, hairspray or perfume. We do not recommend stacking pearl strand necklaces with other chains. After every wear, you should wipe your pearls with a soft cloth. Pearls should be stored on their own in their dedicated packaging or storage compartment in your jewelry box.

Are cultured pearls real pearls?

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Yes, cultured pearls are real pearls. Pearl is June's birthstone and many pieces featuring this organic gem are cultured. 

How are pearls chosen for necklaces?

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At Blue Nile, our real cultured pearl necklaces feature high-quality freshwater, Akoya, South Sea or Tahitian pearls. These gems are chosen in complementary shades, sizes and shapes for a uniform necklace. For single pearl necklaces, high-quality pearls that offer unique style all on their own are chosen to be featured in the jewelry.

What to look for when buying men’s and women’s pearl necklaces?

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When shopping for necklaces with pearls, it’s best to choose necklaces from jewelers you can trust. Look for necklaces with pearls that feature precious metals like gold, silver or platinum to ensure the longevity of your jewelry.

What necklace lengths are popular for pearls?

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Single pearl necklaces and individual strands are most popular in lengths from 16 to 20 inches, with 18 inches as one of the most common pearl necklace lengths. For multi-strand or layering pearl necklaces, longer lengths of 36 to 40 inches are popular. These longer necklace lengths allow the pearls to be looped in two or even three layers, making for an eye-catching necklace that can be worn in many ways.

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