Unlike other 30-something ladies I know, I am not much into clothes. I think I buy clothes only once in a semester. My usual attire would consist of jeans (or capri pants), polo shirt (usually from Lacoste or Columbia Sportswear) and my ever-reliable Fit Flops. They’re my signature outfit if I’m not in my office uniform.
My only weakness and the most likely thing I would hoard would be diamond jewelry and south sea pearls. My love affair with these nature-made jewelry started in 2006. I’ve actually been collecting jewelry since 2004 but was always hesitant to buy south sea pearls not because of their price but because they require extra, extra care.
For one, south sea pearls must not be kept together with diamonds and other stone jewelry to prevent them from being scratched. They must also be kept “moist” because they are considered “living” creatures. Yea, you read it right. That’s why I place them in a separate jewelry box which I keep slightly open, and with a shot glass filled with water placed beside the jewelry box. This will keep them “hydrated” and will keep the luster longer.
I also wear them as much as I can because our skin’s natural moisture will help pearls keep their luster and shape. Although such may not always be the case with pearl necklaces since some people have skin that are more acidic than the others, and because of the close contact, the acid may damage the pearl’s luster and shape. The best solution to this would be to refrain from putting perfumes in the chest and neck area with the pearls on.
That aside, we cannot discount the beauty and elegance that pearls project. They’ll look very nice with a dress, tshirt and jeans, or office uniform. They’re perfect as everyday jewelry (your pearls will love that!) or when attending a special event or celebration at night.
Here’s my collection of south sea pearl jewelry, consisting mostly of earrings:
(1st column from left): bluish-grey 13mm south sea pearl earrings and Palawan golden south sea (about 12mm) with diamond-encrusted removable jacket.
(2nd column at right): Tahitian black pearls(about 11mm) with princess-cut stones, quality white south sea pealrs (9mm) and grey south sea pearls (12mm).
My first pearl purchase was the 9mm south sea pearls, and then I went on to bigger pearls when AJ gifted me with the grey south sea pearl earrings.
Finding the golden south sea was pure luck as I saw these being sold at eBay for just P8,000! Had them appraised at Jewelmer in Makati and was told that they are valued at P20,000! Lucky me!
The rest were bought from my trusted jewelers and if not for their generous lay-away plans, I wouldn’t be able to collect this many right now.
Next in my wish list is to own a strand of south sea pearl necklace. This one’s gonna cost me half-a-million but I can avoid that by slowly building up on my loose pearl collection and have them made into a necklace later. My dream necklace is going to look like this:
It’s multi-colored with big, chunky pearls. Love it! I would like mine to have white, gold, bluish/greyish and champagne/pink pinks. But at the rate I’m going, I might be able to see this in 10-years’ time hehe!
How about you? Do you love pearls as much as I do?? I would love to hear from fellow pearl lovers out there.
Hi! Been reading your blog for a while but it is only now that I was able to read your posts from way back. I love pearls too! Unfortunately, I can not afford to buy real good ones at this time. I was at Jewelmer Trinoma the other day and was shocked to learn that a simple stud would set me back about 100k. But when I tried on the earrings, I just knew I had to have south sea pearls. Can you recommend a much, much, much more affordable pair for me? I am a working mom with a school girl to worry about. Thanks and keep the posts coming. I soooo love your blog!
Hi Marie and welcome to my blog! You may want to check out Berdori at Greenhills (https://leahdeleon.com/2012/11/11/berdori-jewelry-at-greenhills/) – they really have super nice south sea pearls and they have a lay-away plan too!
Jewelmer is really mahal and I think that’s because it’s a luxury brand. But you can very well find south sea pearls of the same quality from Greenhills or from your alahera, if you have one. I can recommend my alahera to you – all the south sea pearls you’ve seen in my blog were actually bought from her, unless stated otherwise =)
Thanks for your swift reply. Unfortunately, I do not have an alahera. Would appreciate your recommendation. Yes, I read all your posts about SS pearls that is why my interest got piqued all the more! I am planning a visit to Berdori really soon so I know how much I need to save to start my collection (naaks!). Thanks a lot! Am a certified fan!
Thanks Marie! You can text my alahera, Tita Malou, at 0917-8111229 =)
Thank you so much!
Dear Leah: Wow, what an inspiring blog. Thanks so much for all the tips, I’ve been reading/lurking in the background, but I did write down everything I learned from you. Went to Puerto Princesa and Sabang, and I had just about 1 hour in a pearl shop (Delma’s) and got Golden South Sea pearls. I got 11 pieces and I will contact your alehera, thank you! I want to copy your ring and a Jewelmer huge, chunky bracelet.
Will have to check out Berdori now and maybe do layaway or credit, card, haha.
She’s my alahera too … Hahaha, small world. I’ve been following your blog for almost a year now.
hello… I like your post and your pearls… you are very favoured with your GSS pearl out there.. the 1st time I saw the picture without reading the latter parts I had said to myself that it was awesome and while reading your story I was ..woohhhh… I wish I could had one. and in the same price… I am also starting to collect pearls ’cause I love them how on classis and convenient they are when you wear them and they can go all the way with your attire… and it’s like what you had said that they are from a living thing.. and a nature’s living jewel..
Hi Leah, thank you for the informative, insightful, and happy writing, especially that on pearls. I am learning a lot about pearls from your blog. Recently got a pair of (13.5 silvery white loose SSPs as an anniversary gift. These are not drilled yet. Do you have any recommendations for a reliable and cheap jeweler who can make them into very simple earrings in 14K gold? Thank you!
Hi Aruvi! You can contact my other Bulacan jeweler for this. Her name is Gemma and her cellphone number is 0926-6950889
Reading your blog, i realized we are so alike. I wouldnt splurge on clothing as much as i do on jewelry. I several ssp pieces including 5 pieces from jewelmer. I started collecting SSP jewelry in 2008 from tiangges and local jewelry dealers/stores. However, lately ive been buying my pearls from jewelmer since they have certificates. I am afraid I might buy fresh water pearls being sold as SSPs. I’d love to go back combing tiangges for great SSP finds once again, but how can you really tell SSPs from frsh water pearls?
The difference is in the luster and size. SSPs are bigger, with sizes starting from 100mm and up. And the luster are of superior quality. More nacre coating, the more expensive it becomes ö
jenny ivy vicencio says
I was surfing when I saw your charming blog. Yup, we both love the same thing. Haha diamonds and southsea pearls. Ssp is absolutely gorgeous. Keep collecting. .will cheer for you haha.Enjoy travelling as this will open a new world for us. Tke crez
Thank you, Jenny and welcome to The Bright Spot! =)
Hi Leah! Stumbled on your site & got hooked on your pearl collections! They’re lovely as the owner! Keep it coming gorgeous! Stay blessed!