And it’s June….when did this happen?! Summer is upon us (or so we hope!) and it’s time to talk about June babies – and the traditional birth stone for June is pearl. Lucky you! Pearls have a fascinating history so we thought we’d share some of it with you over the course of this month.
Pearls are organic not mineral in origin and they have been treasured and coveted for thousands of years. From early lucky finds to diving for pearls, natural pearls were exceptionally rare from antiquity right through the Middle Ages, precious and only to be seen in the company of Kings and Queens.
Large natural pearls are linked to royalty so there is no wonder that they are highly collectable and the subject of intense bidding wars – the most recent and notable one being the very rare Sotheby auction of the Bourbon Parma Jewels. These included 10 pieces owned by Marie Antoinette.
The star of the evening’s auction was this magnificent 18thcentury diamond and pearl pendant which sold for a whopping 36 million USD – the new record for a natural pearl.
The pendant is believed to have been among the few that were packed up as Marie Antoinette was fleeing the Palace of Tuileries which was surrounded by revolutionaries. From Paris to Brussels and then Vienna, the jewels were passed down to her only surviving heir and daughter, Marie-Thérèse de France, who bequeathed the present part of the collection to her niece, the Duchess of Parma.
This beautiful three strand pearl necklace with diamond clasp was also sold for over 2 million USD on the night.
The good news is you do not need royal budgets to invest in pearls. There are many beautiful and exquisite pieces available to suit all budgets. Click here: Pearls at DesignYard if you would like to see some of our unique pearl necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and engagement rings.