Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pearls Of Wisdom

As I have said before, I love pearls. 99.9% of my ‘pearl’ jewellery is plastic – but I still appreciate their sheen and appearance.


The fascination started when I was a child. I asked my Dad if “cultured” pearls could only be worn by very posh people. He told me the story of how the pearl was created by the oyster when it felt some grit inside its shell. He then explained that cultured pearls were ones which had been artificially cultivated- that men deliberately inserted grit into the shells to stimulate the oyster to make the ‘nacre’ which enrobes the grit and dries to form the pearl.

This led to a lot of confusion on my part – for years I thought simulated pearls were stimulated pearls!


Anyway, the other day I was looking at some pictures of HM The Queen, and she was wearing a pearl necklace and a pretty brooch on the lapel of her suit.

queen 1947

queen 2011

[These photos were taken 60 years apart- in the same place, at Broadlands in Hampshire- and Her Majesty is wearing the same jewellery in both pictures. She too is a thrifty woman]


And I suddenly had this brainwave – in my dressing table I have a box of ‘retired’ ear-rings. Mostly huge ones from the 1980s which I find heavy and uncomfortable to wear. I fixed one to the lapel of my grey suit




I shall wear this with my necklace and pearl studs [ensuring that I have matching ones this time, after my recent wardrobe malfunction]

Btw the grey suit is ancient – ten years old, from Next, but it goes in the washing machine and comes up fresh every time, and is always getting compliments.


On the advice of Liz and Steph, I bought the skirt and the trousers when I first got it, and that has made it doubly useful. In terms of ‘cost per wear’ it has to be one of the thriftiest items in my wardrobe. Always useful when I need to look ‘instantly smart’

New brooch at no cost – good result!

Has anyone else got any good ideas for ‘recycled’ jewellery?


  1. Going to check my jewel 'stash'(ie unmatched and broken bits)to see if I can find a "brooch".
    Great idea.
    My only good idea is wearing my long necklace wrapped around my wrist to form a big bracelet.
    Jane x
    PS My parents were once burgled;my Mum had left her REAL pearl necklace on the sideboard. The thieves left it....obviously uncultured thieves too!!

  2. Very smart brooch , and it looks perfect with the suit. Does it really go in the washing machine?

  3. I don't have any ideas for recycled jewellery...but what an idea you have! My mum, who passed away, left me her jewellery box and I think I'll get it out and see what I can come up with! Lots of WWII up to the 90's styles. :-)
    That "new brooch" looks great on your suit coat! Very nice. :-)

  4. What a great way to reuse!
    My pearls (simulated of course) were given to me as a present on my wedding day by my parents and are so precious to me because of that.

  5. Brilliant idea! Don't you just love when a wardrobe piece is so timeless you can wear it for years and know you always look smart. I had a pair of shoes like that. I adored them, but I finally wore them out this winter :o(. Enjoy your new look!


  6. Jane - I always figure burglars would look at the heap of stuff on the sideboard and assume I had alreadybEEN burgled!
    Yes, E-D the suit goes into the washing machine and needs minimal ironing. It is wonderful!
    Anne - retro stuff is back in fashion right now, I bet some of your Mum's stuff is really 'on trend' as they say
    Caroline- sentimental value beats monetary value anyday!
    Deborah- Now you wish you had bought TWO pairs of those shoes, don't you?!

    thanks for all the lovely comments x

  7. Snap same suit from Next. Although mine is long gone and snap I love pearls x

  8. Love it! Wonderful brooch.

    And I love pearls, too. I don't wear very much jewelry, but a strand of pearls ... just right.


  9. Very smart suit and the brooch looks great on it. I love pearls too. I have one strand that I received when our only daughter married.


  10. Pearls are one of the most intriguing, stunning and beloved gems in the world. They have been valued for their perfection and mystical or spiritual power.
    Black and gold pearls were symbols of success and prosperity, with gold pearls sometimes being associated with wisdom. Thanks a lot.


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