Of all the creatures that walk the earth, few put on a grander display than the proud peacock. Plumage of fiery iridescence ignites rippling colors and dramatic flashes of light, as the regal bird struts along its way. But why are we, a fine pearl jeweler in Washington, DC, discussing a bird native to the other side of the planet? Because the striking peacock lends its name to one of the most enigmatic pearls to be found in nature: peacock pearls.
What are peacock pearls?
Lovers of Spey pearls will know that Tahitian pearls (commonly called ‘black’ pearls) are anything but black. They abound in a rainbow of natural colors. One of these color variations, and indeed one of the most prized, the trade refers to as peacock. It’s not hard to see why. As the image above illustrates, peacock pearls boast a rich green-grey to blue-grey body color and pink to purple overtone. The colors float and dance across the surface of the pearl, changing with the light, movement, or attire of the wearer. And what a lucky lady that wearer will be, as peacock pearls compose some of the most shimmering, spectacular jewelry.
Tahitian pearls emerge from within the Pinctada margaritifera oyster off the coasts of the paradisiacal French Polynesian islands. The pearls owe their intense coloration to the deep nacre, or mother-of-pearl, shell lining. When wrapped around an intruder (like the fabled grain of sand), the stacked layers and curvature of the nacre that forms the pearl create the iridescent optical effect. Of course, the health of the oyster, amount of nutrients in the environment, and stressors like temperature change also impact the intensity of color on the pearl. The pearler never knows what color will transpire – it varies from oyster to oyster – but one may be quite certain than when a peacock pearl is culled from the sea, it is particularly cherished.
Peacock pearls from Spey
Looking to add the glamour of peacock pearls to your wardrobe? Consider an entire strand of the lustrous gem, or perhaps a single, isolated pearl wrapped in diamond and gold to form a breathtaking Spey pendant. For the dapper gentleman, Spey offers the handsome lapel pin or Tahitian mother-of-pearl collar stays. No matter the expression, jewelry featuring the dazzling peacock pearl is one of life’s many lustrous delights.