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Pearl Jewelry Types

Pearl Jewelry comes in a wide variety of formats. While we can broadly divide pearl jewelry into pearl earrings, pearl neckwear, pearl rings, etc. there are variations specific to pearls that bear some discussion:

Pearl Strands


About Pearl Strands

  • With the exception of the engagement ring, a pearl strand is likely the single-most-traditional element of a well appointed jewelry box. 
  • Pearl strands are created using a variety of Pearl types. From affordable Freshwater Pearl Strands, to lustrous Akoya Pearl strands, to Exotic Tahitian Pearl strands and large, elegant South Sea Pearl strands.
  • Pearl strands come in wide variety of lengths. 16" pearl strand 'chokers' are the shortest common type. 18" pearl strands, also known as 'princess length' pearl strands, are the most common length of all. Pearl strands also come in 24", 30" and many other lengths. Click here for our Pearl Strand Length Guide.

Pearl Stud Earrings


About Pearl Stud Earrings

  • The second piece of a pearl jewelry ensemble, the pearl stud earring is one of the most classic and versatile items in your jewelry wardrobe.
  • Pearl stud earrings are made from all types of pearls. They include deeply-lustrous Akoya Pearl Stud Earrings, beautifully affordable Freshwater Pearl Stud Earrings and of course Tahitian Stud Earrings and South Sea Pearl Stud Earrings complement strands or ensembles in those pearl types.

Designer Pearl Earrings


About Pearl Earrings

  • Pearl Stud Earrings may be the most traditional type, but earrings are fashioned out of lustrous pearls in a vast array of other styles too.
  • Pearl Earrings may come in a pearl-drop format, with a pearl dangling from an on-the-ear fixture. Pearl tassel earrings are increasingly popular, offering sweeping swaths of pearls dangling from the ear. Pearl button earrings are the kissing cousin to pearl studs - an on-ear look but with a bit more flair and fancyness than studs. Chandelier earrings are among the most ornate, with pearls, gems and precious metal in intricate and often large/bold designs off the ear.
  • Of course, Tahitian, South Sea, Akoya and Freshwater Pearls are all used to create these earrings.

Pearl Solitaire Pendants


About Pearl Pendants

  • If the pearl strand is the elegant queen of the jewelry box, the solitaire pearl pendant is the pearl kingdom's princess. 
  • Ranging from simple to ornate, solitaire pearl pendants hang beguilingly on a chain of silver or gold
  • While pearl pendants traditionally hang from a simple chain, it is increasingly common for the chain to be adorned as well with pearl stations, precious gems, etc. Alternative materials are sometimes used to hang a pearl pendant. Multiple-strands of silver are becoming more prevalent, as are leather and rubber.
  • Pearl solitaire pendants can also be hung or drilled. If a pendant 'hangs' from a chain via a metal fixture, that fixture is called the 'bail' and it too can be simple or highly adorned. Other pearl pendants, such as the one viewed here, are drilled through, protective 'grommets' are inserted to protect the pearl from abrasion, and the chain passes directly through them.

Premium Designer Pearl Necklaces


About Pearl Necklaces

  • A pearl necklaces, rather than a pearl pendant, is typified by being 'fixed' in place. Whereas pearl pendants are typically removable from their chain, and pearl strands are nothing but pearls with a clasp... a pearl necklace is one piece all together incorporating pearls, precious metal, and often other gems.
  • Pearl necklaces are typically more ornate than pearl pendants. The chain itself is heavier and/or more heavily bejeweled with pearls or other gems. Many necklaces also feature a 'centerpiece' which is typically more ornate and larger than a pendant.

Pearl Station / "Tin Cup" Necklaces


About Pearl "Tin Cup" Necklaces

  • A hybrid of the pearl necklace and the pearl strand, the station necklace is so-called because it features pearl "stations" along a chain. 
  • The size and spacing of the pearls in a station necklace varies widely, as do the types of pearls used.
  • This style of necklace was featured prominently in the movie "tin cup" and thus acquired that nickname, but jewelers typically still call them 'station' necklaces.

Pearl Rings


About Pearl Rings

  • Pearl rings come in a variety of styles from simple to ornate.
  • Pearl rings are created using a variety of Pearl types. From affordable Freshwater Pearl Rings, to to Exotic Tahitian Pearl Rings.
  • Because the nature of pearl rings is not always conducive to using multple pearls, Pearl Rings often put an exceptional pearl front and center, with the ring designed to show off that pearl. Precious metal and gemstones such as diamonds are often used to put the pearl ring on best display.

Pearl Bracelets


About Pearl Bracelets

  • The finishing touch! A pearl bracelet is often the final piece of a full pearl jewelry ensemble, completing a pearl look with a bit of luster and dazzle on the wrist.
  • Like pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets often come in 'strand' and 'not strand' varieties. 
  • A simple pearl bracelet consisting of elegant pearls strung with a clasp is considered the ideal accompaniment to a pearl strand.
  • On the other hand, pearl bracelets are often where jewelry designers let their imaginations run, and pearl bracelet styles often include other gems, multi-color pearls, crystal and silver. 
  • Every type of pearl is used to create pearl bracelets, from freshwater pearls to tahitian pearls, or the keshi pearls pictured at left.
  • It is becoming increasingly common to use alternative materials such as leather, rubber and even elegant cords as the basis for a pearl bracelet.