FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mikimoto's Pearls Have That Age-Old Black Magic

Just as so many of today's words have their Greek or Latin roots, rare jewels carry echoes of a very ancient language: that basic, primal urge to adorn our bodies. From era to era, around the world, men and women alike have lusted after goods made of silver or gold, gems, ivory, wild animal skins and bird-of-paradise feathers. Some cultures believed these things held magic and used them to ward off marauding tribes or evil threats; others valued the more...shall we say...practical qualities of instant status, powerful clout and sexual allure.

It's the 21st century, but not much has changed: we still wear birthstones, believe copper bracelets relieve pain and carry rabbits' feet or coral branches for luck. (Not to mention our ever-present fascination with status symbols.) Mikimoto's spectacular earrings speak to this part of our psyche. There's a potent glamour to black pearls, which, far from being truly black, range from stormy grey to peacock green, with
iridescent violet highlights–like soap bubbles. These particular 13mm stunners grew inside Pinctada margaritifera, black-lipped oysters from the South Seas. Not only do they look like luxurious little Christmas ornaments but, crowned with diamonds and set in white gold, they also suggest pageantry (they're fine enough to hail from royal portraits by Velázquez). They could easily turn any grand entrance into something verging on the operatic. Deck the halls, indeed.