Adored by screen legends the likes of Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor, pearls have long been associated with femininity and classiness. While they possess none of the sparkling opulence that diamonds carry, there’s just something about a simple string of pearls that effortlessly injects sophistication into any ensemble.

Case in point: The gorgeous five-strand pearl necklace spotted on Audrey Hepburn in the opening scenes of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961). Paired with the actress’ black dress and chic updo, the necklace remains one of Hollywood’s most iconic jewels till today.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Credit: Limogés Jewelry)

Typically found within oysters, natural pearls are formed when an irritant such as a parasite enters the shell, leading the latter to produce nacre, a secretion that covers the irritant. More layers are added until the intruding object is removed from the inner part of the oyster. In the process, a pearl is created. Cultured pearls are made in a similar way, with farmers deliberately implanting the foreign object inside the shell. While they are commonly white or cream coloured, pearls may also come in other hues such as grey, brown, silver or black, depending on the nacre.

Here are five pearl jewels that we can’t help but covet. Beautiful and versatile, they will easily add a touch of elegance to any outfit.

(Main photo: Timeless Pearl; Featured photo: Mikimoto)