Pearl earrings are simply ear ornaments that are studded with pearls. These classy and timeless accessories have been worn by women for centuries and have never really gone out of fashion because of their eternal and universal appeal. Pearl jewelry in general is worn by women across the world, including Europe and the Indian subcontinent. Thus there is a wide range of designs to choose from in pearl earrings; from simple and elegant to ornate and heavy, from traditional and ethnic to modern and western, the options for the pearl connoisseur are simply unlimited.
This type of accessory can be distinguished on the basis of a number of factors, the most important of which is the type of pearls used. Faux pearl earrings are not really made of pearls but of beads shaped and designed to look like pearls. These beads may be made of a number of other materials such as plastic and other alloys. These earrings are preferred by women for daily wear since they are cheaper and can hence be purchased in bulk or in a number of different styles without burning a hole in the pocket. Cultured pearl earrings are made of real ‘pearls’, though, as the name implies, these are made with pearls that are artificially produced by cultivating pearl producing oysters in mass tanks and harvesting them once the pearl is formed. These are a very cost-effective option since they have the same kind of beauty as naturally occurring pearls but are much lower in their cost. The real or natural pearls that occur in nature are obviously the most coveted and desired of them all, and, once upon a time, were the only ones available.
Pearls are available in wide range of colors, sizes and textures. This can be due to their natural properties or can be artificially produced by treating and polishing the pearls. The most commonly seen, in terms of color, are the beige or off white pearl earrings which have a very elegant and graceful look. Pink pearl earrings have a beautiful rosy tinge and look beautiful when set against gold. Grey pearl earrings have a silvery sheen and are therefore mostly set in silver or platinum backgrounds. These kinds of colored pearls are considered unconventional choices as opposed to the classic white pearls. In terms of size, the pearls in the earrings can have a diameter anywhere between 2 mm and 2 cm. Big pearl earrings usually make a single pearl the center of attention. The smaller, bead like pearls are used to enhance the central gem or the gold setting in other types of earrings; alternatively, they may be used to create intricate beaded pearl patterns in the ornament. The size of the earring itself can vary depending on what type it is: a stud, drop or chandelier (also called dangle). A stud is the smallest and simplest style that fits snugly on the ear. Vintage pearl earrings often come in this kind of style and look extremely beautiful. Drop earrings utilize a single strand, while chandeliers or dangle pearl earrings are larger in their shape and size and can extend from the earlobe till the shoulder.
When it comes to Indian pearl earrings, gold is often the preferred setting. Pearls are often used to enhance the beauty of traditional jewelry made in the Kundan and Polki style but they can also be used to create intricate, ethnic designs on their own. Indian style gold and pearl earrings often come with stunning filigree gold work that provides the perfect backdrop for the chic luster of pearls. Bridal pearl earrings are the most ornate and often combine precious gems with pearls to create a dazzling look for the bride. Besides yellow gold, white gold or silver are also widely used as a setting for pearls.
Styling with Pearl Earrings
Pearl earrings are one of those jewelry pieces that can add a touch of elegance to any outfit and, though safe, will never be considered unfashionable. That said there are certain types of Indian clothes with which they look exceptionally beautiful. For instance, gold pearl earrings are the perfect addition to a glittering, zari and zardosi work salwar in a bright shade; they will tone down the outfit while bringing out the beauty of the gold designs. With an ornate wedding outfit such as an elaborately embellished net sareewith crystal and sequins work, the addition of gaudy jewelry can ruin a perfectly good outfit. In that case, women can opt to wear pearl earrings with diamonds and forego any other type of jewelry. Those who are wearing an outfit with little or no gold work can opt for white gold pearl earrings.
A good investment for any wardrobe would be a pair of classic silver pearl earrings. These will match well with semi-formal and formal outfits and though simple, are extremely elegant and sophisticated in their look.