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Entries in pearls (13)


A Mermaid’s Treasure

Pearls and moonstones are prettily intertwined together with black thread in this amazing necklace woven for a mermaid. She wears it on the rare occasions when she puts on her legs and a cute frock to go dancing.

I bought this years ago from a jewellery boutique in Melbourne called Larama. I dithered for weeks over its price, but, with my sister’s encouragement, I snapped it up finally for fear someone might beat me to it.

Once I paired it with some giant chandelier earrings also made of pearl. After eyeing me judiciously for a few moments Mum informed me that it was over-the-top. Thanks Mum. Mermaids like to go all out when they get their legs on.

Love Under the Sea, by Kenvin Pinardy



I much prefer opaque semi-precious gems to sparkling jewels: turquoise, onyx, agate, and of course pearls. They seem so much more tactile; a dramatic statement that is more interesting to me than a discreet diamond pendant.

A few years ago I was shopping in Stanley Market in Hong Kong. I had gone there braced for serendipitous purchases, but I was also on a mission to find black onyx beads, 4mm or smaller. Long before I left Melbourne, I’d been looking for these beads online and already knew they were scarcely to be found; I’d exhausted all the beading supply stores I normally shopped at.

I much prefer opaque semi-precious gems to sparkling jewels…

As soon as I had disembarked from the bus, and my friend and I had got our bearings, I made a beeline for the jewellery stores on the outside edge of the market. To my surprise, hanging behind the counter of the first store I saw my 4mm onyx beads! I managed to contain my excitement until the saleswoman could attend me.

“These are very rare,” she informed me.

“I know!” I responded, all in a glow as I slapped down my Hong Kong dollars.

Mission accomplished, my friend and I turned to the main entrance of the market. How I love foreign markets, with their twists and turns and strange side streets! You never know what you may unearth. Some time during that day I discovered on the bottom shelf of a grubby stall a little cardboard box that contained large sticks of coral. I bought three at $4 each.

At home I assembled a necklace in a classic colour combination of black, white and red: precious onyx beads, rice and fused coin pearls, and a stick of coral. I don’t actually wear it often: the pleasure was more in the discovery, the making, and the touching. 


Pearls beyond price

Can you imagine a tiara constructed of real South Sea pearls? Queen Elizabeth wouldn’t be able to afford them. My twin pearl swans didn’t cost that much but they are priceless indeed.

For days I walked past the cabinet containing these works of art, giggling to myself every time. There were cute little pigs, puppy dogs with floppy ears, and lonesome swans, but I was all eyes for this conjoined pair. They were brash and bold and fake; so kitsch that I had to have them.

They were brash and bold and fake; so kitsch that I had to have them.

But what on earth would I do with them? I had to ask myself, puzzled. Should they sit on a shelf at home madly gathering dust until one day I try – and fail – to fob it off onto one of my nieces (none of them are young enough anymore)? But then a brilliant inspiration seized me… By rights, they ought to feature on these pages in some incarnation or other, and that was when I suddenly struck on their true raison d’être: a tiara!

So here they are, immortalised.

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