Pearls have been the preferred gemstone of royals for centuries. During the Golden Age of the British Empire, pearls were permitted only to be worn by the Queen, as they were rare and exquisite. Nearly every portrait of Queen Elizabeth I shows her in pearls, whether it be layer upon layer of pearl jewelry or decoration embroidered on her elaborate costumes. Queen Elizabeth I's collection of pearl jewelry was vast and unique with her descendants hoping the pieces would eventually be passed onto them.
Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt, adored pearls and in an effort to showboat her riches, once bet Marc Anthony she could consumer the wealth of an entire country in one, single meal. She then removed one of her large pearl earrings, dropped it in her glass of wine - more likely thought to be vinegar - waited for the pearl to dissolve and then drank the entire glass.
Many of the well-known pearl jewelry are on display in museums today, since they were handmade throughout history for queens. Thus, we are included to think about the most exquisite pearl necklace of all time, La Peregrina. This famous historical piece is called La Peregrina for a reason as the Spanish translation means 'the Wanderer' and it definitely was. The piece traveled between royal families in its early age, first worn by Queen Mary and eventually passed onto modern day Elizabeth Taylor.
Throughout history, Queens favored pearls for their association with virtue, elegance and innocence. Pearl jewelry remains a consistent favorite of Queens, and royalty, today. Unlike the past; however, pearls are no longer reserved only for the rich, royal and famous. Pearls belong in the wardrobe of every woman, young and old.