Design Inspiration: Radiant Overtones of Pearls

One important and enduring design inspiration in jewellery is colour. The beautiful and unique qualities of a pearl and other colourful gemstones bring a unique aspect to jewellery design. At Winterson, we draw on our love of colour to create our contemporary heirlooms.

A pearl’s colour may be observed in its ‘body colour’ and ‘overtones’.  The dominant colour and shimmering surface radiance of a pearl are influenced by a number of factors. The natural tone of a host mollusc's shell, the genetic fingerprint of its tissue and epithelial cells, and the quality of its external environment, give the most significant clue to a pearl's eventual colour.

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Image 1: Luna Moss Tahitian Pearl Ring
Image 2: Lily Eclipse Pearl Ring

Even then, colour remains one of the few things that the pearl culturing process cannot entirely anticipate – where nature’s unpredictability plays its most important and majestic role. Discovering a Tahitian pearl with cherry, peacock, or pistachio overtones is part of the enduring magic of working with this fascinating gem and a true design inspiration.

Matching pearls for colour and lustre – the quality of light reflected from the gem’s surface – is a job that requires morning light and an experienced eye.

At Winterson, pearl grading has been the family business for decades. For us, grading by colour is as important a value factor as grading for lustre, size and shape. Our access to and selection of high quality Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls is at the heart of Winterson’s distinctive approach to designing pearl jewellery.

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Image1: Classic Pear Drop Earrings in Ruby
Image 2: Luna Rose Tahitian Pearl Ring

Our designs celebrate the unique quality of a pearl’s colour, selecting precious and semi-precious stones that enhance this individual beauty, drawing out the subtle differences in every pearl.

Whilst the timeless combination of white diamonds against the rose blush of Akoya pearls will never tire, coloured stones emphasise every delicate movement in the overtone of a pearl; a grey Tahitian with steely tones responds to the languid blues of aquamarine, whereas a peacock Tahitian pearl flashes with vivid colour alongside the variegated blues of tanzanite, sapphire and blue diamond.

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Image 1: Lief Earrings in Yellow Gold with Amethyst and Tahitian Pearls
Image 2: Lavender Eclipse Pearl Ring

This playfulness with colour, complementing tones in the pearl with colour in natural gemstones, is a distinguishing feature of the design inspiration behind a Winterson jewel.

To learn more about what causes a pearl's colour, read our Guide here.