Tag: creative

Making Music from Lovely Shells


We’re all familiar with the traditional watch face made of mother of pearl, but did you know that many musical instruments contain mother of pearl? It is very common to see the nacre inlay, or the lining of an oyster’s shell, included in instruments like pianos, guitars, accordions, violins, cellos, accordions, and trumpets. The use of mother of pearl in instruments has no other meaning than to show wealth of the owner.

Mother of Pearl Piano Keys

To trace the piano back, ivory was the predominant material used for key coverings, however due to many ivory bearing animals becoming extinct or dangerous to hunt, ivory was faded out and in came more easily sought materials like mother of pearl, bone, porcelain, silver, ebony,  and cedar.

Piano Francis Scott Key

A famous piano made by Knabe and Gaehle was an important part of history when Francis Scott Key composed “The Star Spangled Banner” in 1838. This exquisite hand carved piano had four rosewood sides, and each white key was surfaced with expensive mother of pearl.

John Lennon Guitar

Epiphone Casino, a popular guitar brand used by all three members of The Beatles early on was used to write songs like “Ticket to Ride,” Taxman,”  “Drive My Car,” and many others. Later in their career, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison all got customized Casino guitars of their own. In the picture shown, mother of pearl inlay can be clearly seen in the fret marks below the strings.

Who would have thought that mother of pearl could be used for more than just jewelry?


Mother of Pearl Inlaid Syrian Furniture

Syrian Mother-of-Pearl Furniture

While Pinterest-ing I came across some Syrian furniture inlaid with mother of pearl! The blogger traveled to Global Village, Dubai to a cultural market. The details of each piece are superb! To think, each shape is cut out individually and designed into these patterns to create furniture! These are several items I would NOT want anyone sitting on!

Armless Chair


Side Table



Genuine Hand-Faceted Blue Topaz Chandelier

Shimmering Ice – The Tale of a Very Expensive Lighting Fixture

Once a Gem Cutter, always a Gem Cutter, Pearls International’s own Jim Stradley got his start in jewelry by purchasing his own gem cutting outfit upon returning from serving our country in Viet Nam. He has a history of cutting some of the finest and most unique gems in the world. Some of these gems have even made their way into museums like the Smithsonian Institute. A perfectionist at his art, Jeweler Jim has cut a 2,165 carat flawless blue topaz, fine amethysts weighing 605 carats, and even emeralds worth over $100,000.  Although we at Pearls International know him as the Pearl Guy, his first love was cutting gems.

Jim Stradley, the Pearl Guy

One of his best pieces, the Shimmering Ice Chandelier, made of blue topaz and totaling 5,712.69 carats, is a masterpiece in itself. Many of the topaz pieces making up the chandelier he collected himself in the Tarryall Mountains of Colorado. Jim gathered the remaining gems for this chandelier from exotic parts all over the world including Brazil, Madagascar, and Mozambique. Over 550 separate briolettes make up this fine work of art, the biggest of which weighs just over 185 carats. This one of a kind chandelier houses eight candles that brighten and accent each gem. The chandelier is now housed in Pearls International and can be seen immediately upon entering the showroom.

Pearls for Men

Pearls: The Final Frontier in Men’s Fashion?

Did you know the fetish for pearls goes as far back as 520 BC, when the oldest known pearl jewelry was buried with the sarcophagus of a Persian princess?

We were inspired about the history of pearls, and in our travels, we came across a great article over at www.howtobeswell.com. The article made it clear that pearls on men can be totally sexy and would make a great gift for your best guy!

Pearls have a long and storied history, but we think the most interesting thing about pearl fashion is that until very recently, pearls were worn by men as often as they were worn by women!

There was nothing effeminate about the men who wore these pearls. They were the handsome, rich, and powerful leaders of their times, and the pearls they wore only served to underline their influence in their societies. The wealthier you were, the more pearls you could afford. A man wearing ropes and ropes of pearls would have turned heads everywhere he went!

Men didn’t go small with their pearl jewelry, either!  The trend was “more is more” and old portraits show dashing gents simply dripping with the gorgeous jewels. The multiple strand look has proved to be timeless, as you can see even today in the lovely layered look you find on (women’s) fashion runways the world over.

Pearls were prized by men of nearly every major culture, and historians have found evidence of the use of pearls as adornment from places as varied as Britain, China, Greece, and India.


Prince Rana of Dholp
Prince Rana of Dholp: Doing his best to wear as many pearls as possible across his manly muscly chest.
Crown of Henry VII
Recreation of the crown of Henry VIII of England: This guy was the manly-man of his age. No sissy stuff here!
Prince Charles of Wales
Prince Charles of Wales knew how to rock a masculine pair of pearl earrings!
Pearl Merman
This manly merman is made of pearls!

Modern pearl jewelry for men focuses more on increasing the masculinity of the setting the pearl lives in. Leather, chunky metal, and inlay often make an appearance in today’s jewelry. It’s a great balance between the soft satin look of the pearl and the harder edge that today’s men’s fashions require. Pearls easily go from trendy to finely elegant, as seen in these examples:

Men's Pearls
Whoa, studmuffin alert! Look at that pearl! This picture says it all for the man that may be new to wearing pearls. Seriously guys, pearls look hot on you!
Pearls for Men
Wowza! Those pearl cufflinks, rings, and necklaces would make us melt (It might just be his razor-sharp jawline)!
Steven Tyler Pearls
Trend-setting the Steven Tyler way. If Steven can look good in pearls anybody can! We daresay he looks fantastic sporting multiple layers of rugged pearls on leather rope.
Pearl Cufflinks
Pearls have always been a symbol of wealth and prestige. The only factor that has changed is the fashion trend and how we wear them today.

Pearls for every man and every look is the trend for this holiday season.  Timeless, classic, elegant, trendy and sexy.  For the man that has everything, give him a set of pearls!

Since we think it’s important to start teaching “real men” to wear pearls when they are REALLY CUTE LITTLE BOYS, we leave you with this adorable little tyke, rocking the pearl look!

Little boy with pearl


Gorgeous Pearls

We want your opinion on the NEW AND IMPROVED Pearls International!

Howdy there!

If you’re looking around today, you’ve probably noticed that there have been quite a few changes at Pearls International! That’s because we’ve completely overhauled the way this website looks and functions in order to give our customers the very best online shopping experience.

Here are a few of the cool new features:

Better security.

Our customers’ security and privacy online is of the utmost importance. Our new site provides even better protection for your personal information during online transactions. We are committed to protecting your information to the greatest degree possible. When you shop online at Pearls International, you can be absolutely your information is safe and secure. Check out our Privacy Policy for more information!

User-Friendly Menus and Search.

Our new drop-down menus make it easier than ever to find the products you’re looking for! Simply select the appropriate category and you can navigate to any type of product we sell. You can also choose to view all of the products we carry by clicking the Shop Now button!

Simple Sharing and Syndication.

You can now share content from anywhere on the site, using the handy buttons located next to the search box at the top of each page. Want to subscribe to the content on our site? The RSS button makes it easy! For all you Pinterest addicts, you’ll now find a “Pin It” button at the bottom of each product page!

Mobile Support.

Get your Pearl Fix on the go with our new mobile functionality! You can view Pearls International on both iPhone and Android platforms and the responsive layout will adjust to any screen size.

Comprehensive Content.

Our customers asked for more information about pearls, and we have delivered! At the bottom of each page, you’ll now find plenty of resources for the Pearl Addict and Novice alike! Check out our Pearl Library and Pearl Buying Guide for helpful tips and information!

Let us know what your favorite part of our redesign is, and you’ll be entered to win our monthly prize drawing! Be sure to leave your contact info so we can let you know if you win!

Rare Conch Pearl Necklace

Today during our routine web-surfing procrastination efforts, we stumbled upon a truly one-of-a-kind necklace that’s worth $1,118,500. In this economy, you’d better be making the big bucks to afford to purchase anything this exquisite!

The craziest thing about this necklace is that it is made from pearls that have been produced by the conch. A conch! Can you believe it? That’s right, that cone-shaped shell actually produces pearls (Well, sorta. Conch pearls aren’t technically pearls, but that’s a story for another post)! At any rate, the next time you are chowing down on conch fritters, make sure to chew carefully, you just might be eating a fortune!

We can’t get over the cool flame-like patterns on the surface of these treasures. The colors in this piece are perfect for the spring, they look like sweet little candies in yummy strawberry, peach, and lemon!

These pearls are said to be as rare as 1 in 10, 000. Can you imagine finding a pearl in a conch, worth $30,000? View this crazy-cool creation here.

Top Ten Creative Gift Ideas

Well, you’ve found yourself here again. Another year and you still don’t know where to start with the gift giving? Here are a few tips and ideas to make sure there isn’t a repeat of last year’s homemade tea cozy fiasco. Read on for the top ten gifts of the moment!

1. For the Fashionista

You can’t go wrong with a classic white pearl necklace! They go with everything from flowing formal gowns to a cute t-shirt and jeans combo. Don’t forget the matching earrings!

2. For the Book Lover

What book lover doesn’t dream of adorning their precious pages with a bit of sparkle? A pearl bookmark is just the thing!

3. For the one who’s On-the-Go

If you know someone who’s going places and wants to look chic, give them a gift that will always go with them! Pearl key chains are beautiful and functional.

4. For the Entertainer

What to do with a houseful of guests? Wine charms can help keep everyone organized! Our set comes with a stunning bottle charm and pearl wineglass charms in six different colors.

5. For the one who’s Connected

For the person who needs a cell phone surgically implanted in her head, cell phone charms will become her go-to accessory!  Just attach and you’re good to go!

6. For the one who’s Absentminded

We all know this person. She frequently leaves her eyeglasses in the refrigerator. Prevent cold, foggy lenses by giving her a striking pearl eyeglass chain!

7. For the Pet Owner

For the pampered puppy, we have pearl pet collars. Fifi (and her mommy!) will be the most stylish pair on the block!

8. For the Party Girl

She’s dressed up and out on the town, but who wants to put their purse on the dirty restaurant floor? Purse hangers save the day by keeping cute clutches clean and close-by.

9. For the Traveler

Who wants to deal with the knotted mess of jewelry you find in the bottom of your carry-on at the end of a long flight? Infinity jewelry makes it easy – one piece, infinite possibilities!

10. For the Chocolate Lover

For a modern take on a classic look, try the latest trend – chocolate pearls. Chocolates go with every outfit, and let’s face it, they look delicious!

Hopefully these gift ideas have provided some inspiration. If you’re still stumped, or if it’s simply too late to ship, you could always give one of our instant electronic gift certificates. Remember, don’t forget the giftwrap! Till next time!

-Pearls International: Gifts for those really impossible people.