Of all the grading factors that influence the value of a pearl, one of the subtlest is that of color. Sure, it’s not too difficult to distinguish between the satiny luster of golden South Sea pearls, the dark and enigmatic richness of Tahitian pearls, and the delicate charm of white akoya pearls strung into perfectly matched rows. But there is another layer to identifying and describing pearl color: overtone. Overtone is the bashful wash of color across a pearl’s surface; separate from the pearl’s dominant body color and only present in the best pearls at each harvest, like those that comprise the Spey fine pearl jewelry collection.
At Spey, we draw on our love of color and appreciation for the subtleties of luxuries to bring together pearls of the finest waters in fantastic pearl jewelry creations. Within the spectrum of pearls, there is much variety and uniqueness. The colors of pearls are determined by several factors, not least of which include the type of mollusk from which the pearl emerges, that particular mollusk’s individual tone of mother-of-pearl, the genetic fingerprint of its tissue and epithelial cells, and the health of its natural environment (like the abundance of nutrients or the purity of water).
Each of these contributing factors impresses the pearl with understated variation. Even then, color remains one of the few traits that a pearl farmer cannot entirely anticipate, that is, until the mollusk is opened and the pearl emerges. The quality and thickness of nacre adds to the variation and gives rise to gorgeous overtones in the finest specimens. The challenge to Spey and other fine pearl jewelry craftsmen is to bring together perfectly matched pearls – a process that often spans many harvests and many years to find two pearls that are both alike in appearance and dignity. But we at Spey think quality is worth waiting for.
Now in spring, as the earth erupts in a riot of color and life, what is our go-to pearl color and overtone? Hands down, we choose the akoya pearl with a rosé overtone. Both eternally elegant and innocently fresh, the akoya pearl gives the springtime wardrobe a refined and airy softness. Combined with a rosé overtone, the look is unstoppable. Of course, there are other overtones to akoya pearls: varying intensities of silver, blue and cream round out the list, but rosé is unquestionably the classic. A faint to deep pink color dances across the white body color of the pearl, as if the pearl were blushing in modesty and refinement. One of the most important and enduring characteristics of a pearl is its color and at Spey, we pay attention to these subtle qualities to bring you jewelry that’s anything but ordinary.