June, the month of pearls, is going strong, so I still have a few more pearl surprises in store for you. Today I will share my insights on those rare and elusive yellow pearls, as well as my design inspiration for the Medusa necklace and earring set. Here goes...
Naturally colored by its formation in the gold-lipped oyster, the yellow pearl or South Sea Golden Pearl is said to bring wealth to the wearer. Perhaps this is true, but what we do know for sure is that the South Sea pearl's rich golden beauty does bring incredible joy. What distinguishes a South Sea golden pearl from all its other pearl counterparts is its distinct coloration.
Unlike a pure white pearl, a golden pearl exhibits a remarkable sparkling champagne tone. The effect of a golden pearl is a richer, more intricately dazzling appearance. These positively posh pearls are coveted throughout the world for their unique appearance.
Just like traditional white pearls, South Sea golden pearls can be showcased in all types of jewelry. They are also versatile enough to be the centerpiece of an unending variety of setting designs. The end result is a luxurious piece of jewelry like my Medusa necklace and earrings that will be treasured for a lifetime.
When I was designing the Medusa I wanted to make sure that I could highlight this quality. It has only been a few times in my career that I have found together 15 perfectly matching South Sea pearls, so I wanted my vision to do them justice, while always respecting the materials and their history.
As for the Medusa myth and inspiration, I always have been fascinated by the Greek guardian and protector who began her story as a beautiful maiden who was then one of three Gorgon sisters who were both beautiful and terrifying. Long story short, Medusa was punished for her beauty and was turned into a snake haired monster who was later beheaded.
The Medusa myth does not end there. She was also the mother of the legendary Pegasus, and could turn men into stone with just one look. It is said that the corals of the Red Sea were spawned from her blood, and that her head became the shield of the goddess Athena.
In modern analysis, and in what I think makes her more compelling, Medusa is a feminist character who is not really used to signify malevolence but female rage and bravado. It is this facet of her myth that made me think of her for my design. The elongated golden tentacles remind me of her hair, and the combination of yellow and white gold signify the old and the new. It was my hope that like Medusa, these pieces and their wearer can make men turn to stone with just one glimpse.