The mystery and romance is part of the narrative itself of a pearl’s birth: a droplet of water gets trapped in a mollusc’s mantle folds, and over a period of time, descends into a sac and grows in size as the organism seals it off from the rest of its body. At one time all pearls were ‘wild’ and grew in nature, and because of their rarity, fetched extraordinary prices. Hundreds of molluscs had to be opened and killed to find one wild pearl, and once it was found, people killed one another for it.
As a fashion statement, until recently pearls were favoured by elder women from the ‘bygone age’, but these things go around in circles, it seems. A new generation of women is increasingly becoming aware of the allure of pearls. They may never threaten diamond’s position as best friend, but they’re surely climbing to second spot with the intention of staying there. ‘A pearl evolves with time,’ says Pierre Fallourd, general manager of WA based Atlas Pearls. ‘And certainly every woman has a journey and an evolution of her own.’