DILLON PEARL SHOWCASES
THE BEST IN FASHIONABLE
GIFTS FROM THE SEA
Innovative Wholesaler Offers Quality, Variety and Value in Magnificent Pearl Jewelry
Precious, lustrous, pure and magnificent! For thousands of years pearls have been prized for their unique beauty and have captured the imagination of fair maidens and warriors of yore, generations of fashionable women, as well as followers of today’s cutting-edge contemporary fashions.
Ancient Greek brides wore pearls on their wedding days, believing the gems would promote marital bliss.During the crusades, brave knights marched into battle emblazoned with pearls as a protector against harm and misfortune. A single strand of these lustrous gifts from the sea can transform even the most simple dress into special, memorable fashion statement. Perhaps pearls have long been a classic fashion accessory because their soft, warm glow helps the beauty of every woman shine.
“Today, look for pearls in unusual colors, sizes and shapes—as the focal point of a beautiful brooch featuring a thoroughly modern design, in earrings surrounded by gleaming diamonds and suspended from ribbons of white gold, clustered by the dozen in a fun fifties-inspired brooch with a sea foam motif,” says David Dillon, president of Dillon Pearl Corp., an innovative young wholesaler specializing in the handsome gems.
He adds that today pearls are enjoying burgeoning popularity. In fact, almost 89 percent of retailers reported an increase in pearl sales this year over last year, according to the Cultured Pearl Information Center in New York. The average jump was 18 percent, with retailers crediting heavy national pearl promotion for the gain. “And while a classic strand of pearls will continue to be a fashion staple, think of pearls in innovative ways—as the shining stars of a whole new breed of fashion accessories,” David Dillon adds.
Dillon should know because his company offers a large selection of unusual, beautiful and creative jewelry. A host of well-known and up-and-coming jewelry designers utilize his shop for its well-stocked drawers of carefully matched strands and special one-of-a kind gems to design their own magnificent creations.
“To many people,” notes Dillon, “traditional, beautiful Japanese Akoya pearls are synonymous with the highly prized fashion item. However, today South Sea pearls—which are significantly larger and more varied in shape—are inspiring a stunning array of new concepts in pearl jewelry. Especially popular are striking large silvery black Tahitian pearls, which are being grown in greater number, promoted with new enthusiasm and playing a major role in contemporary fashion. Designers also are taking innovative directions with Akoya pearls.
A look at the precious cache offered by Dillon Pearl offers a glimpse at the best of the new pearl fashion scene. Extremely popular are beautiful pendants featuring large opulent South Sea pearls—including white and Tahitian black. Settings range from simple diamond cups and floral inspired designs too ornate art deco styles.
Also look for an inspired array of pearl rings, again featuring South Sea pearls in both white and black and accented with diamonds or other attractive gemstones. “Often, the overall design is simple and elegant to showcase the natural good looks and quality of the pearls,” notes Dillon.
Extremely popular this year are earrings in all manner of shapes, colors and sizes. Dillon Pearl’s opulent hanging earnings include a wide range of selections, such as lustrous pearls suspended from diamond-encrusted hearts, chains and spheres. Also look for South Sea studs ranging from jumbo white pearls accented with diamonds and other precious gems to simple, tailored styles surrounded with yellow and white gold. Styling runs the gamut from spectacular special occasion jewelry to handsome choices for everyday wear.
Other earrings include large striking Mobe pearl designs as well as simple Akoya studs. Another Dillon Pearl specialty is single and multi-strand Akoya and South Sea pearl necklaces, which can be personalized with the attractive clasps of your choice. In fact, Dillon notes that the company carries many fashion clasps that are so uniquely handsome they become the focal point of the jewelry itself. Also adding interest to strands are accents of precious and semi-precious gemstones—used as spacers or suspended as drops to add color and dazzle. Pearl bracelets, also enjoying great popularity, feature similar styling.
“All our pearl strands are carefully matched for size, color and overall quality,” notes Dillon. “BlackTahitian pearl strands are particularly striking.”
VARIETIES OF CULTURED PEARLS
Traditionally grown in Japan, Akoya pearls are pure white, lustrous pearls generally ranging in size from 3 to 8 mm. These are extremely popular in the U.S. and large percentages are strung into simple strand jewelry. Today, these pearls also are grown in China.
White South Sea pearls are cultivated in Australia and Indonesia in tropical oysters. They range in size from 10 to 20 mm and command premium prices. Black South Sea pearls are grown in large oysters native to French Polynesia. Available in a range of dark, silvery colors, they are extremely beautiful and priced accordingly.
Freshwater pearls, which are grown around the world, exhibit less luster than salt-water varieties and are available in a range of unique free-form shapes. They are significantly more affordable than salt water pearls.
Mobe pearls are hemispherical selections grown against the shell of oysters to create their flat back.These are generally used in earrings and rings.
Today, virtually all pearls are cultured—cultivated through natural processes with the aid of man.Natural pearls occurring with no human assistance are extremely rare. The culturing process involves surgically implanting a small polished shell bead and mantle tissue in each oyster. The oyster responds by secreting layers nacre, a crystalline substance that becomes the pearl. During this process, the oysters are returned to the sea and carefully cared for until the growing process is complete.
“When judging quality in pearls, consider luster, color, color overtone, surface condition, shape and size,”says Dillon. “Luster, perhaps the most important consideration, is the glow of light reflecting back through the layers of the pearl nacre. Body color is the actual pearl color, while color overtone is simply a rose or greenish cast.”
Select pearls with smooth surface conditions, avoiding cracks, blemishes and pits. Bear in mind, however,that all pearls have minor imperfections. The best pearls are perfectly round. Larger pearls generally command higher price. However, the pearl’s luster and thickness of the nacre also are key.
David Dillon is extremely knowledgeable about pearl quality and artistry, having grown up in the pearl business. For the past fifteen years, his parents have owned a thriving pearl wholesale and retail business.Dillon and his mother travel to the pearl-growing capitals of the world—including Japan, Australia and Tahiti—to select only the highest quality merchandise for Dillon Pearl Corp. Since the successful young wholesaler opened his doors in 1996, business has almost quadrupled, as the company gained a reputation for offering a unique combination of high-quality, variety and reasonable price.
Dillon Pearl is located at 20 West 47th Street, suite 20R, New York, in the heart of Manhattan’s jewelry district. To learn more about pearls in general and the Dillon Pearl line, in particular, visit their website at www.dillonpearl.com
Jeanne Marie Phillips
Marketing Director, Dillon Pearl Corp.