Re-imagining Grandma’s Pearls

by Jane Becker on February 10, 2020

#finejewelryredefined

Three times a year, the Jewelers Association shows at the Javits Convention Center in NYC.  It is divided up into three sections:

  • the American section (with new designers as well as established designers)
  • the Italy section (very unique aesthetic, some of the wildest designs out there)
  • and the Hong Kong section (diamond heavy, very glitzy) 

Since I do my own designs, I tend to look for new and established suppliers to buy materials like strands of colored gemstones (some of my favorites) and druzy, if I can find good quality.  I’m honored to be invited to every show, and this year the October 27-29 show was the last push before the holidays. 

This year’s winners are pearls. Pearls are versatile, as they are re-imagined and re-designed in our fashion lexicon, they’re very on-trend right now and will be for awhile.

A lot of my customers have communicated to me that pearls remind them of their grandmother or their mother, but that their own style is not “classic,” yet pearls go with everything. It’s just a matter of how you wear them.


At the last show, I bought two strands of pearls with different colors and had them strung, but they were a little too short for my taste. This time, I returned to the supplier and found an additional strand of the same quality, size, and color that I could use to extend the strand length. 

Now, I wanted this to be clean and simple, all pearls and no metal accents. Why? I’d like to wear this strand with anything. The strand doesn’t have a clasp; it’s one long line of multicolored variegated pearls, so you can tie it in a loose knot (chic and elegant), loop it without knotting it, or design a clasp that can attach at different stations on the necklace to change the length, depending on what you are wearing.  This is what I’m going to do. 


You don’t have to have five different strands of pearls; you can have one strand. With multicolored pearls and a beautiful clasp, you can wear a piece like this in at least three different ways. You can lock it in the front, wear it to the back, or with two clasps, you can wear it as a bracelet.  You also have the variability in this one piece to wear your pearls below the breastbone or above, which prevents the bouncing-effect. 

I’ll share an update with you when the clasps are finished. Let me know if you have pearls you’d like to re-imagine!  Sincerely, Jane

TIP: When you have cultured pearls, each and every one is perfectly round and calibrated, but these days people are also buying by price point. So, freshwater pearls are a wonderful way to update your collection. Keep in mind that freshwater varieties are off-round and sometimes have blemishes. I like to work with both types of pearls, as well as incorporate different fresh colors into a single design. 

Reach me directly at janeatjbjewels@gmail.com to set up a re-design today.

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