If there’s one staple that every woman wants in her jewelry box, it’s a pair of pearl earrings. And I’m not just talking about classic pearl studs! Today’s pearls come in a wide variety of design styles, set with sparkling diamonds, colorful precious gemstones and even faux pearl jewelry with glittering crystal accents.
From pearl hoops to dangles to grand chandelier earrings, we’ve scoured the internet to find the prettiest, coolest, most unique pearl earrings we could find to showcase for you here. Because there is such an astounding variety, I’ve decided to group the selections by style and overall aesthetic. Let’s get to the list!
Whether you go with the lustrous Japanese Akoya (pictured), the more budget-friendly Freshwater pearls or the large and luxurious White South Sea pearl types, a pair of simple, elegant pearl studs will ALWAYS remain in style. Our best options are as follows:
The legendary black pearl is a sublime choice for a pair of pearl studs. Minimalist in aesthetic, yet packing a dramatic punch, black pearls always garner attention no matter where they are worn. The most popular black pearls are the famous Tahitian pearls, but Black Akoya pearl earrings are another option to consider at a much lower price point. Our best sellers are:
Add some sparkle to your pearl earrings with an angelic halo of diamond accents. These dainty pearl earrings feature saltwater pearls from Japan, surrounded by fiery round diamonds that are a stunning addition to any jewelry collection. These elegant pearl earrings are a perfect choice as bridal earrings, too.
Meow! An adorable pair of pearl earrings, these genuine pearls feature miniature kitty cat ears cast in your choice of white gold, or sterling silver. These cute pearl earrings are extremely versatile, and can be worn to work, school, at the grocery store ... wherever you feel like displaying your catty side.
These Japanese Akoya pearl and diamond earrings are the epitome of elegance. Akoya pearls are famous for their sharp, high luster and perfectly round shapes. A trio of round diamonds tops each earring, adding just the right touch of sparkle to any occasion.
Who could resist these perfect pearl earrings? So simple and elegant, with just the right amount of swing, these classic dangle earrings are flattering to any face shape, and are guaranteed to the just the right pair of pearl earrings no matter the occasion!
Classic elegance with a colorful twist! Our Tahitian pearl earrings are created using the finest materials, featuring organic gemstones and 14K White Gold (Yellow Gold is also available), handcrafted to order. The natural beauty of these gorgeous pearls make them an instant winner for any occasion.
Sweet yet refined, the pearl and diamond "Lacy" dangle earrings are pretty enough to wear day to day, or at all special occasions. We love how the round shape of the pearls are mirrored by the delicate gold lace pattern accented with a single glimmering diamond just above.
These sleek "Capital" drop earrings exude modern sophistication. Two perfectly matched pearls mounted on a slim gold hook and voila - "pearlfection" has never been so easy. Choose your preferred pearl type and 14K Yellow Gold or White.
We love these mother-of-pearl drop earrings from NaHoku. Featuring carved gaming pieces from the Ching Dynasty of China cast in solid 14K Yellow Gold. Each pair of earrings is completely one of a kind. Five Stars for originality and gorgeous design.
Sparkle like the stars in a constellation with these stunning drop earrings featuring two hand-matched South Sea pearls from the famous pearl farms of Northern Australia. Perfect for any special occasion, these show-stopping pearl earrings are sure to flatter any face shape.
Oh Yoko London, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways ... Seriously though, Yoko London has made major waves in the market today with their dazzling pearl designs. These pearl and diamond chandelier earrings are no exception! Using only the finest pearls, gold, diamonds and precious gemstones, literally ANY design by Yoko London would be a treasure to own and wear.
Black pearls paired with diamonds make these pearl earrings a glamourous choice for any pearl lover. These genuine saltwater pearls from French Polynesia are naturally black-colored, and feature a delectable array of colorful overtones, mounted in 18K Gold. You'll definitely want to wear this timeless design for years to come.
This pair of earrings rocks a sparkling modern edge. A delicately glimmering gold chain features three tiny diamond accents, leading down to beautifully matched saltwater pearls. These pearl drop earrings have tons of drama with a delicate, flirty feel. Choose the right pearl type and gold preference: 14K White Gold or Yellow Gold.
Who can resist a pair of pearl hoops? Not us! Named "Glissade" because of the way light slips and slides over the slim, high polish 14K Gold hoops, which can be worn anywhere and everywhere.
We love the understated take on these gold and pearl hoops. The pearls measure a dainty 6.0-6.5mm, and we really enjoy the contrast of the gold hoops and the round shape of the gems. These paired down hoops are perfect for daily wear when you don't want anything too fancy, and at a great price to boot.
These glam pearl and diamond pavé hoops feature a rock star edge. This version is set with Tahitian pearls from French Polynesia, but we offer other pearl types. Each pearl earring sparkles with over a 0.25cts of diamonds, weighing just over 0.50cttw approximately. While we love this black pearl version, the White South Sea Pearl and Diamond Enchantment Hoops are the exact pearls we'd wear on our wedding day!
These pretty Freshwater pearls have a punk rock appeal threaded directly onto the hoop earring itself. We love that the designer, Lele Sadoughi, went with real pearls rather than the less expensive faux pearls for this design; the raw, irregularly shaped gems have so much more personality!
Bold, daring and absolutely wearable, this pair of earrings mixes genuine, real pearls with faux crystal sparkle, mounted on solid Sterling Silver. Named "Meteorite" to represent the stars shimmering in the night sky. We love the funky free-form baroque shapes of the Freshwater pearls, and would wear these every day if we could!
These baroque Freshwater pearl dangles by Chan Luu feature two thin diamond slices wire-wrapped in Sterling Silver to dangle underneath the pink and champagne colored pearls. Definitely loving the "Hershey's Kiss" crinkled texture of these baroque pearls and the intense rainbow iridescence on these drop earrings!
Gorgeous Golden South Sea pearls are stunning show-stoppers with this pair of pearl drop earrings. The Art Deco design harkens back to the glamorous era of Old Hollywood, and the smooth drop shapes of the pearls have a feminine, romantic appeal. LOVE.
The key to selecting the very finest cultured pearls for your earrings lies in being able to evaluate the quality of the pearls.
Whether you’re purchasing Akoya, Freshwater, Tahitian or South Sea pearls, the one thing they all have in common is that they are graded using the 7 Value Factors for pearls.
Each of these attributes is considered when assigning a pearl its final grade on the A-AAA and A-AAAA Grading Charts.
Pro tip: The MOST important factor when picking the right pearls is LUSTER. It is Luster that makes or breaks pearls as a precious gemstone. Pearls with poor luster or even medium luster are not very valuable, and tend to look rather dull, like a bead.
The Difference Between A-AAA and A-AAAA Pearl Grading
The A-AAA Scale is primarily used for Japanese Akoya pearls (this is known as the Japanese System). A represents the lowest commercial grade, with AAA reserved for the very best Akoya pearls.
The legendary Hanadama Akoya pearls are selected from the best of the AAA Quality Akoya pearl harvests, and are sent to the Pearl Science Laboratory of Tokyo, Japan for evaluation and certification, but it’s important to know that ALL Hanadama pearls were sourced from AAA Quality lots!
The A-AAAA Grading is used for Freshwater, Tahitian and South Sea pearls, which corresponds with the A-D Pearl Farmer’s Grading System. In this system, “A” represents the vey best pearls, and “D” represents commercial grade pearls that don’t really make it onto the market.
For pearl earrings, what that means is that you’ll want to select pearls that are AA+ and higher for Akoya pearls, and AAA Quality or AAAA for all other pearl types.
This ensures that the pearls you are buying have the cleanest pearl surfaces and best luster available.
This can be a tough decision to make; here’s a quick rundown on which cultured pearls you should choose for your new pearl earrings
This age-old question is one of our Top 10’s! Pearl earrings are available starting at tiny seed pearl sizes, 2.0-3.0mm up through incredibly large pearls measuring 15.0mm or so. Generally you’ll find that Akoya and Freshwater pearls are smaller, and Tahitian and South Sea pearls are on the larger end.
We have a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying the perfect earring size:
The sky is the limit here. Pearls come in a very wide variety of shapes, from the classic perfect Round to totally funky Free-Form Baroques. Some points to consider:
It’s not just white! Today cultured pearls offer a veritable rainbow of colors to choose from. We’ll run down each pearl color to give you a quick guide and then it’s all up to you.
Once you’ve selected a pearl type, size, color, and earring style, you’ll be better equipped to shop from multiple vendors and find the perfect pearls.
Generally, your safest bet is to shop at a high-end luxury store like Mikimoto, or select online boutiques like Pure Pearls. But be careful online, especially on third-party sites like Amazon or eBay — these sites usually offer low prices, and low-quality pearls to match.
Read more in our guide on where to buy pearls.
If you’re looking for a set of classic white pearls, you can’t go wrong with our Hanadama Akoya Earrings. These PSL Certified Akoya pearls offer the highest luster and thickest nacre of all Akoya pearls, and the classic White Pearl Stud can be worn with a gown, or something a bit more casual, and works for almost anyone.
But pearls also come in a variety of styles and colors unmatched by most gems. Try Freshwaters in a variety of colors for something affordable, or durable, or Tahitians and South Sea pearls for something high-end and unique.
To learn more and browse a wide variety of pearl earrings, visit Pure Pearls’ complete collection of pearls: Shop all Pure Pearls Pearl Earrings.
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