“In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls.” Honore de Balzac
Jan Leslie’s designer cuff link collection includes an earthy emphasis on traditional gemstones. Among those, mother-of-pearl features prominently in Jan’s unique designs. Today, we’re exploring the history and style points of mother-of-pearl as well as giving you tips on the best ways to wear it.
Mother-of-Pearl: The More Colorful Version of Pearl
In the gemstone world, mother-of-pearl is known by its geoclinal name, nacre. Nacre is a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters (and other shellfish) and collect around the objects that will become pearls. While most people are familiar with traditional pearls (usually in the form of beads), many cultures prefer the more colorful and gradient textured mother-of-pearl for jewelry.
Taking Organic to New Places
If you love shopping at Whole Foods and hitting the farmer’s market, then including mother-of-pearl in your accessories and cuff links has an added benefit. Jewelry made from mother-of-pearl is considered organic jewelry, meaning specifically that it comes from a living creature, plant or organism. You don’t need to load up on the hemp bracelets to embrace organic living!
Beyond White: The Color Range of Mother-of-Pearl
While mother-of-pearl may appear white just like the pearl that results from it, its mineral makeup means that it can also have a range of textured and subtle colors. It may appear grey-white, yellow or even shades of beige and brown. More importantly, mother-of-pearl includes an understated iridescent sheen that gives a third dimension to most accessories crafted from it.
The Many Techniques for Enhancing Mother-of-Pearl
While most of us are familiar with rounded mother-of-pearl beads, the density and malleability of this gemstone makes it ideal for many flexible design concepts. That’s why Jan incorporates it into so many of her unique styles. Mother-of-pearl is easily carved into intricate shapes. You’ll see examples of this in Jan’s Hand-Carved Mother-of-Pearl Rose cuff links and studs. However, mother-of-pearl can also be broken into smaller pieces that are ideal for Jan’s latest line of tiled gemstone cuff links, including her intricate Gemstone Indian Elephant Cuff Links.
Mother-of-Pearl for Special Occasions: An Accent of Iridescent
Mother-of-pearl cuff links, studs and lapel pins are frequently the accessory gemstone of choice for weddings. After all, nothing says romance more than a white wedding. The contrast of a white mother-of-pearl accent piece against a black tuxedo adds the perfect extra detail to a groom or groomsman. If you’re looking to do an “all-white” wedding, mother-of-pearl accent pieces are the perfect way to complete an entirely monochrome look with a white tuxedo.
Mother-of-Pearl for Everyday Wear: Suited-Up with Style
For every-day wear, mother-of-pearl accessories are ideal for brown or camel-colored suits and shirts as well as a bold accent to offset blue shirts and accessories. It’s a perfect gemstone choice to add a touch of accent without needing to go bold or bright.
Featured Mother-of-Pearl Cuff Links by Jan Leslie
This formal tuxedo link and stud set is ideal for the romance of a wedding day. The cuff links are also available individually for a more casual look or feel.
Sterling silver Indian elephants are accented with the minute detail of an inlaid, tiled ornamental blanket crafted from genuine mother-of-pearl. Also available in colorful Abalone.
A stunning version of the natural ombre progression of mother-of-pearl that’s on-trend and classic at the same time. Available in grey, taupe or hand-dyed blue.