Pearls are a British girls B.F.F

True, diamonds dazzle, but in my humble opinion pearls are a girls best friend. The quintessential British look is right back in vogue now for autumn with tweeds, neckerchiefs and equestrian-influenced tailored cuts in abundance. Pearls are the perfect accessory in creating this look and they are hardly difficult to come by. Head to any charity shop, vintage fayre or jumble sale as I did this weekend and you are guaranteed to find a pearl necklace knocking around.

Pearl science. Did you know?

There are three types of pearl – natural, cultured and faux (fake). In short natural pearls are naturally occurring (obviously) and develop inside a mollusk (a type of shell-fish of which there are thousands of species). They develop spontaneously taking a couple of years to form. They are rare and sometimes as valuable as gem stones.  Most pearls sold today are cultured pearls from pearl farms in either fresh water lakes or salt water. Different colours exist, black being the most rare. Most freshwater pearls come from China. Lastly, faux pearls are generally plastic which is why they lack the iridescent beauty of a real pearl.

Weekend booty!

While looking for somewhere to buy cake this weekend, we stumbled across a jumble sale. Most of the stuff being sold was complete tat but I did come away with the below collection of pretty vintage brooches, spending just £6 for the lot. I had been in a vintage clothes shop earlier that day where they were selling brooches just like this for more than £12 each! The majority are faux pearls but two of them are real. I will be wearing one of them tomorrow to brighten up “back-to-work” day.

A quick way to find out if a pearl is real or fake

It can sometimes be tricky to tell if a pearl is real or fake.  My Mum taught me this – gently bite/rub the pearl between two teeth – if it’s smooth it’s a FAKE and if it’s real it will feel slightly coarse or abrassive.
Old plastic pearls will also look as though they are peeling. Yuck – not a good look! There is nothing wrong with fake pearls but only wear them if they are in good condition.