November 04, 2018

Choosing the Right Pearl Overtone


Customer Question:

Do you have any advice regarding the selection of pearls overtone? silver, rose, or cream?

Her wedding dress is white, not ivory or off-white. She has brown hair, and a moderate complexion. Is rose typically most preferred? Would silver match the best with her wedding dress? Is cream more versatile? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks again, Eric



Selecting the perfect pearl overtone isn't all that complicated, but let's quickly run down the attributes of each to familiarize you with them, and then I'll give you a recommendation or two.

Rose overtones

Rose Overtone

The pinkish hue over the white body color of the pearl has traditionally been the favorite of ladies all around the world since pearl culturing began; in fact - Mikimoto Pearl Company is known for their Rose-toned Akoya pearls. The shimmering pink colors add depth and complexity to the surface of the pearls, and the tone is flattering for women with light hair and pale or fair complexions. The warmth and sparkle of the pearls is greatly enhanced with a traditional yellow gold clasp, which can literally light up the complexion of the wearer.

Silver overtones

Silver Overtone

Silver overtones re easily the second most popular of the three due to their brilliance. Silver sparkles with hints of cool blue in the pearls' surfaces and is the closest to a bright or pure white color. Medium-tone, olive through tan and darker complexions, or even ladies with fair skin but very dark brunette to black hair benefit from the brightness of these pearls. The whiteness of the pearl contrasts beautifully with the deeper skin and hair colors and optically magnifies to make the pearls appear brighter and larger than they really are. Tiffany's is renowned for their Silver Akoya, and it is a lasting popular favorite. Both white and yellow gold do well with Silver, however I do like to play up the 'coolness' of the pearls with white gold accents.

Cream or Ivory Overtones

Cream Overtone

Cream overtones look lovely on everyone, but perhaps most especially red heads and strawberry blondes. With just a touch of French Vanilla, the natural-looking creamy tones are complimentary to a variety of complexions, and they are a classic choice that nearly anyone can fall in love with. Just as with Rose, the Ivory overtone adds depth to the crystal and brings out the luminous glow from within that pearls have traditionally been famous for. I would caution against choosing pearls that are too deeply cream for those that prefer white gold accents, as the clash between cool and warm palettes can be a bit visually jarring - even if the clasp or the posts in the case of earrings will not be seen, the overall effect will be to damp down on the innate warmth of the pearls and mute them a bit.


What Pearl Overtone with a White Wedding Dress?

For a medium-tone complexion in a bright white wedding dress, I'd definitely recommend both Silver and Silver-Rose as the overtones of choice, possibly with a white gold clasp to continue to enhance the cool palette that will be worn, however yellow gold will work nicely as well - especially if all her other jewelry for the day will be in traditional yellow gold. My professional opinion is that both Ivory and Rose will contrast too much with the dress and look slightly off, color-wise.

I hope this little run-down's been helpful! Please let me know if you have any further questions - I'm always happy to help! I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon, and have an excellent day!


Ashley McNamara

General Manager

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