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Drops of Moonlight: How to Choose Pearls

August 6, 2017 | By

While gold and diamonds tend to get priority in every woman’s collection, it is the classic and elegant pearl which renders the element of refinement. Choosing pearls is a matter of your evolving taste. Neeti Kanungo helps you pick and choose and match and combine the choicest pearls for that look of pure grace and elegance.

For centuries, I have been a jeweller’s delight. They have shaped me in many forms and colours to win your vanity. I have lent my lustre to you as only I can. I do not sparkle like a diamond or shine like gold and silver. I glow in my own wisdom.

My soft gleam reflects your love. My charm and elegance is an attempt to shackle your heart.

My soft gleam reflects your love. My charm and elegance is an attempt to shackle your heart. I am but a ray of moonlight nurtured in the womb of the sea. Waiting for my glory…not through the power of a millionaire’s wallet…but by adoration of your ethereal beauty.

Pearls– an essential part of your jewellery collection

While gold and diamonds tend to get priority in every woman’s collection, it is the classic and elegant pearl which renders the element of refinement. Choosing pearls is a matter of your evolving taste. It takes a dash of maturity to start appreciating and enjoying them. While combinations of pearls and other gem stones make interesting matches, it is stand-alone simplicity of a pearl which will always state your class.
My journey with Pearls
I lived in Hyderabad, the city of pearls during 2010-13. It was but inevitable to explore and discover many facets of selecting and purchasing these drops of moonlight. Here I share the learnings of this journey with you.

My attempt is not to repeat the historical, factual and shopping details already available on web space. Here, you will find a basic photo essay on how to get started with pearls. You will also find information on finer aspects you must keep on mind while making purchases.

(L) Classic single strand round white pearl necklace (R) Classic double strand round white pearl necklace

Classic Pearls

Start with the basic white, classic round single strand. 16 “length for close to the neck look. 18 “length for not very thin necks and for a comfortable neck length. Double strand suits senior ladies more. Classic white goes well with almost every dress – especially formal westerns, chiffon sarees and pastel summer suits. It immediately adds class!

(L) Classic big round white pearl necklace (R) Classic long and short round white pearl necklace

Variation in single strand-the bold look with big pearls. Works very well for younger ladies, with black office dresses, party dresses and ladies with a heavyset face. Always just always makes you look younger and draws attention. Do not be afraid to experiment!

Classic round pearl sets in different shades of pink

Variation in double strand-the super elegant look with short and long strand. Always adds grace. Works best with full/high neck or low neck dresses. Suits senior ladies very well.

Grey Pink, Pink and Baby Pink Basic Sets in Round

After you have started your romance with basic white, set your eyes on the round pinks. They are generally available in light pink, pink and greyish pink… each one has its own charm. Wear them to match with delicate chiffons in white and pink. Or contrast as you wish.

Try on and check which pink suits your complexion the most. Pure pinks render delicacy and the grey one maturity.

Typical pearl shapes (Pic: simplypearls.com)

Pearl shades and hues in pink and lavender (Pic courtesy: dawnrosepearls.com)

Pearls – Sizes, colours and shapes

By now you will start noticing various colours shapes and sizes that pearls are available in. This opens possibility of wearing different shapes, sizes and colours… and their infinite combinations.
Use your intuition to pick colours that attract you, shapes and sizes that call out to you-there are no rules. Go with your heart and develop your unique style with élan.

Many hues and shdes of pearls (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

Classic pearl shapes (Pic courtesy: americanpearl.com. shecypearljewellery.com)

Beauty in imperfection

Natural pearls are seldom perfectly round. Their non-perfect shapes are nature’s art. Jewellers go creative in harnessing this natural beauty in many designs.

Button and rice pearls make good variations in multi strand necklaces. Drops and ovals make delightful earrings. And baroque makes most desirable pieces which cannot be duplicated.

Rainbow bracelet (Pic courtesy: Etsy.com)

An elegant and classy three strand pearl necklace in size and colour gradation in hues of pink (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

Gradation by size or colour or both

A popular variation in pearls is the and gradation of size of pearls in the same necklace. The centre piece is the biggest. On either side, the pearls gradually reduce in size. Try in off white/gold or black.

The cheerful rainbow variation works best in bracelets.

But the most beautiful pieces are created in by gradation in both size and colour, using multiple strands.

Check them out in different colours. Vary the shapes. Keep odd number of strands. Experiment till you create a piece you are in love with!


No necklace is complete without a matching pair of earrings. Stand alone studs or pearl studs cast on gold are all time popular. White studs encircled by diamonds are a classic. The pearl drop makes most attractive and feminine earrings. Go ahead and decide your pick!

Classic pearl earrings set in gold (Pic courtesy: bluestone.com)

Classic pearl drop earrings with diamonds (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

Classic pearl earrings set in a diamond aura ; pic courtesy: bluenile.com

The Chandbaali 

The evergreen chandbaali (Pic courtesy : mirraw.com)

If there is one stand outstanding design in pearl earrings… it is the Chandbaali – a beautiful reminiscence of the romance and design excellence of the Mughal era.

Characterized by pearl drops in crescent setting, it is a very popular design which never fails to add oodles of charm and high visibility. Heavy variations go best with traditional dresses. Worth keeping a basic classic piece too.

Bracelets and rings

These are essential pearl accessories. Match and collect.

A tristrand bracelet in a band (Pic courtesy : bluenile.com)

Twisted pink pearl bracelet (Pic courtesy: Etsy.com)

Pearl ring set in silver (Pic courtesy: Etsy.com)

Black pearl ring (Pic courtesy: tahitianpearls.com)

Pearl ring with turquoise moon (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)


Now that you are a pearls pro, you may be start looking for pearls combined with other metals and gemstones in the most interesting settings. Some are truly rare and royal. There is no ceiling to creativity and exclusivity in this arena.

Study, read, compare, analyse and appreciate precious creations you see. Visualise owning your own masterpiece one day… that day is not far!

The Royal Touch and Fashion Statements in Pearls

Rare and triangular basra pearls setting from Nizam’s collection (Pic courtesy: Internetstones.com)

A blouse embellished with pearls (Pic courtesy: Pinterest)

Actor Sonam sporting pearls generously (Pic courtesy: mirraw.com)

My Favourite Top Three

All hues of pink (Pic courtesy: Pearls of joy.com)

A classic strand in gold (Pic courtesy: Lombokgold.com)

White and black n white (Pic courtesy: Lombokgold.com)

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Neeti Kanungo likes to call herself an accomplished nomad. Life has offered her a mixed bag of interests, adventures and careers - visualizer, educationist, psychologist, trainer and author. She has travelled extensively across India as an army wife, making 15 homes in 8 states in 20 years. She often likes to capture and express the resultant unique experiences and learning in her writings. She says, "I seem to have this infinite curiosity to know more, explore and discover. Whatever I take up, I mould it in my plane of discovery. This makes even mundane the most fascinating. It seems I put on magical spectacles which reveal the beauty, the art, the music and the science of nature’s mechanisms all around me." Neeti has deep interest in innovating teaching of mathematics in schools and has authored a series of mathematics textbooks. She also shares her poetic interests on neetikanungo.blogspot.in and psycho-spiritual musings on beagleonsail.blogspot.in
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