Three Pearl Trends For 2014

The world of the cultured pearl is always changing, with each year bringing a new set of pearl trends to discover as pearl farmers adapt their production and develop new techniques.

Our buying team recently returned from Asia with a stunning selection of the highest quality pearls for our collections of jewellery at Winterson, being carefully chosen for their lustre, colour and beauty.

But there were a few surprises too.

Here are our reflections from the visit and a prediction of pearl trends for the coming year:

SMALL SIZES…

Pearls above 11mm in diameter command a significant premium for their rarity, particularly for the highest quality South Sea and Tahitian pearls.

But this year more than ever before, we noticed that pearl sizes smaller than 7-8mm diameter, for the Akoya pearl and even seed pearls as small as 1-2mm, are very much in demand for necklaces, earrings and other types of jewellery.

Comfortable to wear and elegantly proportioned, these are the classic pearl sizes for a jewellery designer to work with.

THE EVER CHANGING FRESHWATER PEARL…

The shift in production and demand for Freshwater pearls over the past thirty years has been significant, with small cereal shaped pearls being steadily replaced by the introduction of rounder shapes, and more recently by larger nucleated pearls.

This year really is no exception. Round nucleated Freshwater pearls are now widely available in sizes above 12mm. The trend of the last few years towards large oversized baroque shapes in contemporary jewellery seems to be falling out of fashion.

Perhaps more concerning was the apparent level of processing treatment of some of the larger pearl sizes. Although designed to achieve a whiter colour, these pearls might lose their lustre over time. If in doubt, always buy from a retailer that specialises in pearls.

We only select the highest quality Freshwater pearls that we can find and we loved the dazzling metallic colours of the pearl drops above!

THE NEW WHITE IS…GOLDEN?

The boutiques and shops of Hong Kong are filled with many of the world’s luxury and fashion brands.

The Chinese home market of shoppers loves pearls and prices for high quality pearls are increasing with the growth in Asian markets.

Classic pearls that have a natural-looking white colour are the most favoured style, but it is the luxurious golden South Sea pearl, with its rich tones of champagne, gold and burnt orange, that is the most highly sought after pearl this year.

PREDICTION FOR 2014

The world of pearls is so varied that it is difficult, almost impossible, to summarise one single prediction for this organic gem next year.

Perhaps the most exciting trend is the popularity of small sizes - we are going to see more jewellery designers working with classic white pearls in many subtle, intricate and intriguing ways in 2014.