The Pearl Earrings Worth Buying Right Now

The classic gemstone gives way to coveted new shapes for the modern woman.

Pearl earrings are just about as classic as it gets, but you don't have to be a twinset-wearing, crossed ankle–sitting, proper kind of lady to integrate the stone into your everyday wardrobe. Today, unexpected shapes and scale give pearls a marvelously modern update. Read: Not your grandma's pearl earrings. Wearing pearls may mean you are donning a rich piece of history (more on that later), but they're also an effortless day-to-night accessory. Here, Elizabeth Doyle, owner of Doyle & Doyle (opens in new tab) Antique Jewelry, explains why pearl earrings are a piece of jewelry so totally worth investing in.

Marie Claire: Why do pearls hold such an important place in history—in fashion and otherwise?

Elizabeth Doyle: Throughout time, pearls have been a consistent fashion statement, from Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring to Princess Diana’s iconic multi-strand dog-collar necklace. Seemingly delicate, pearls hold stories of politics, power, and romance.

MC: How are you seeing the classic reworked?

ED: Pearl drop earrings have long been thought of as the demure choice, but now we’re seeing bold designs featuring huge baroque pearls that give a modern edginess we don’t always see in perfectly round pearls.

MC: Why are pearls so versatile?

ED: Nothing is safer than pearl studs and a simple pearl strand. Add in varying lengths and sizes (think Coco Chanel) and you have the ultimate in polished chic. Mix your pearls with chains and rosaries for an ’80s Madonna rock ’n’ roll look.

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