Jewelry by Yoko London
Pink. It is the color of romance, femininity, youth, good health (think "I'm in the pink!"), playfulness and the tender, nurturing care of mothers. When it comes to pearls, pink symbolizes all that and more because there are SO many different shades of pink to choose from!
In honor of Valentine's Day when the color pink is at its most popular, I thought it would be fun to examine the rainbow of options we see when shopping for pink pearls.
There are only two types of pink pearls: Pink Freshwater pearls and Pink Conch pearls from the Strombas gigas Queen Conch snail found in the Caribbean. This post will deal only with Pink Freshwater pearls, as this is the most common and affordable pearl type of natural pink that you can come across today.
Pink Freshwater pearls are cultured in the Freshwater pearl mussel, Hyriopsis cumingii, which is bred and raised in China. The Freshwater pearl mussel produces three main natural colors: White, Pink and Lavender. These colors and shades are natural hues (there are thousands of dyed colors for sure, but these three are natural), so they will never discolor, fade or flake off.
Pink Freshwater pearls can be divided basically into two main categories: Peach to Apricot, and Baby Pink to Bubblegum Pink (actual "true" Pink colors), with variations in between. Let's start with the Peaches and Apricots.
The Pale Peach Pink Freshwater pearl features a very pale, almost whitish-yellow body color with Silver Overtones and just a tiny dash of orange in the mix. These pearls can be paired with yellow gold to "warm up" the pearls, or with white gold mountings and clasps to enhance the cooler Silver Overtones.
The classic Peach color; Peach is a mix of orange, yellow and white, making it a pastel hue that is flattering to nearly any complexion. Peach is a calming color, and is seen by many as sweet, friendly and comforting.
Mount Peach pearls with yellow gold mountings to enhance the warm orange and yellow hues, or pair with white gold to cool them down (watch out for color clashes though!).
Apricot is the deepest, most vibrant version of Peach, featuring a more intense saturation of orange in the mix of orange, yellow and white, with a dash of red deepening the visual warmth of the pearls.
Symbolizing vitality, joy and enthusiasm, the Apricot shades of Pink Freshwater pearls are fun and playful, and definitely draw the eye. As with the other Peach hues of Pink Freshwater Pearls, pair with yellow gold to amp up the warm oranges and yellows present, or mount these pearls with white gold to cool them down ... that said, due to the intensity of Apricot, I do tend to recommend sticking with yellow gold to avoid clashing color temperatures.
These pearls can be either solidly Peach or Pink; the main component that makes this particular color combination unique are the strong Bronze Overtones.
Bronze is typically characterized by flashes of Green and Orangey-Gold, and definitely makes these pearls are very rare find! You'll typically see this color combo in bead-nucleated Edison Freshwater pearls and Metallics.
Salmon Pink Freshwater pearls straddle the divide between the Peachy-Apricot Pink colors and True Pink hues. This color still retains a definite orange component, but here's where pink and red hues start to dominate.
We recommend using yellow gold clasps for this shade of Pink Freshwater Pearl Necklaces and Bracelets to avoid creating a color temperature clash - these pearls are decidedly on the warm side!
Similar to the very Pale Peach colors, these Pale Pinks have a distinctly unsaturated, highly pastel whitish appearance. Typically these pearls will also have a Silvery Overtone, enhancing the frosty Pink color. To play this up, we recommend sticking with white gold mountings and clasps.
Baby Pink Freshwater pearls are possibly the most popular hue. These pearls display a definite pink body color, but pastel and lightly to medium saturated in tone. Baby Pink colored Freshwater pearls display a variety of Overtones like Rose, Aquamarine and Gold - all are beautiful!
Mount Baby Pink colored Freshwater pearls with white gold to enhance the cool Blue and Aqua Overtones, or pair with yellow gold to warm up the pearls and enhance the Roses and Golds present.
Mmmmm Bubblegum! Sweet, bouncy and ultra feminine, Bubblegum Pink is the second most popular Pink Freshwater pearl color, and is the closest to a bonafide pink color. Strong, saturated and definitely pink in every way, the Bubblegum Pinks are a crowd pleaser - totally fun and flirty.
I love pairing this pearl color with white gold - the contrast is really eye-catching, and enhances the Blues present in some of the overtones. Yellow gold is also a great choice, and really amps up the red undertones, making the pearls appear even pinker!
The Dusty Rose Pink Freshwater pearls are where we just begin to bridge the divide between Pink and Lavender pearl colors. This is a solid pastel pink, but the colors are somewhat muted and on the cooler side, with hints of violet and purple coming through. These pearls often feature a silvery/whitish sheen to their surfaces, which cools down the pearls, and keeps their colors softer and more subtle.
One of my absolute favorites, Mauve Pink is a dreamy, romantic color that evokes fantasy and whimsy. Mauve Pink is the final pink hue before the pearls cross solidly over into actual Lavender Freshwater pearl color territory, and combines violet, magenta (reddish pink) and cool grey tones together with a medium brightness and medium saturation.
To increase Mauve's "mauviness" or muchness, then play up the cool greys and violets by pairing these pearls with white gold clasps, chains and earring mountings.
After that, the Pink definitely turns into stronger shades of Lavender, and that wraps up our tour of Pink Freshwater Pearl colors! I hope you enjoyed the post, and remember if you have any questions, email me directly at: Ashley@purepearls.com
Until next week ...
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