I bought my first pearl while I was in Hawaii on my honeymoon. I wanted a keepsake that really represented Hawaii to me and a black pearl was my shopping mission. I finally found one (within my price range) at a little farmer's market in Hilo... a single organic-shaped, natural black pearl with a silver bale. I know I am going to treasure that piece of jewelry for the rest of my life. And I believe that is what is so special about pearls, they make a piece of jewelry feel like a treasure.
I am soon to inherit a few pearls from my late grandmother's favorite necklace (every granddaughter is getting a fair share of the pearls from the original full strand). Now I have to figure out what to do with them... I want them to feel special, because they are pearls, but more importantly, because they were HER pearls.
I was thinking of turning 2 of them into delicate drop earrings, very a la Jane Austen. The remainder I hope to add to a delicate chain spaced throughout amongst some filigree beads. I am debating whether to set the pearls myself but the desire to splurge on more expensive settings through a jeweler is very tempting. Regardless, I know I will treasure these pearls just as much as I do that very first pearl I purchased.
And here is my grandmother, in her wedding portrait, wearing her pearls. (I look just like her... curls, eyes, nose, mouth, and all!)