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Forget diamonds, pearl engagement rings are a new jewellery favourite for brides

Emma Stone has one, Michelle Williams has one, and now, so does Ariana Grande.

We’re talking about pearl engagement rings, the most unexpected wedding jewellery trend to have emerged in the past year.

Of course, we’ve been seeing pearls everywhere for a while now. The organic gem is very much in fashion,  especially those of the misshaped, freshwater variety. We’ve seen them strung on necklaces or dangling from earrings on the runways of Gucci, Givenchy, Jil Sander, Simone Rocha — just to name a few.

Even men are wearing them. Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, having noticed that they look good in them, launched a unisex pearl collection with Japanese jeweller Mikimoto this year as well.

“The pearl is very classic, but it is, at the same time, an indispensable item for its timelessness,” explained Mikimoto’s managing director, Yasuhiko Hashimoto, about the appeal of the natural gem. Pearls as adornment — that’s something we can all appreciate. The gem has graced the finery of royals for centuries, after all. What’s surprising is that more brides are also embracing pearls as a symbol of love, dedication and commitment.

(Photo credit: Ariana Grande / Instagram)

As far as engagement rings go, pearls are an unconventional choice for many reasons. They rank only 2.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes them susceptible to scratches. (For comparison, diamonds rank the highest at 10.) The milky orbs are also porous; to preserve their mesmerising lustre, you’ll have to avoid everything from chemicals (soaps and hair spray are a big no-no) to cosmetics (apply your perfume before slipping the ring on). For maintenance, wiping gently with a clean, soft and dry cloth is generally advised.

Who wants to go through all the trouble? Perhaps the same people who would like to put in the same love, dedication and commitment into their future marriage. In that sense, a pearl ring is the most romantic thing you can choose to wear on your wedding day. Below, we’ve listed some beautiful designs to treasure for a lifetime.

Header photo credit: Kataoka

The South Sea pearl is coveted for many reasons: it’s the largest type of pearl, it’s extremely rare, and it glows with a satiny lustre unlike any other pearl. The precious gem sits at the centre of this Tiffany & Co. South Sea Noble ring, and it’s made even more exquisite by the ring of rose-cut and round diamonds around it.

(Photo credit: Tiffany & Co.)

Price
S$8,400

Japanese jeweller Mikimoto is renowned for its use of the Akoya pearl, which comes with a perfectly round shape and a highly lustrous appearance that is as captivating as a diamond’s brilliance. In this 18-karat white gold ring, however, you get to enjoy the beauty of both, although you might find it harder to look away from its 8.5mm Akoya pearl.

(Photo credit: Mikimoto)

Price
S$6,125

Pearl jewellery is often seen as refined and classy, but Fendi descendant Delfina Delettrez has daringly given this ring a bit of edginess with the addition of white gold barbells. It’s an intriguing contrast to the beautiful  Akoya pearl that the ring shows off, and it’s perfect for the bride who marches to her own beat.

(Photo credit: Net-a-Porter)

Price
S$2,530

Kataoka’s Luna Pearl Stardust Ring is stunning in its simplicity. Instead of a thick band, the gleaming, stardust-finish freshwater pearl sits atop a slender metal ring (you can choose between beige gold, rose gold and platinum). The delicate design only emphasises the preciousness of the pearl, whose shine is complemented by the 14 diamonds that surround it.

(Photo credit: Kataoka)

Price
S$4,233

Why wear one pearl when you can wear two? This Yoko London ring, inspired by the beauty of a flower in full bloom, boldly features a pair of South Sea pearls. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, check out the diamond-embellished petals that surround them.

(Photo credit: Yoko London)

Price
S$16,211
Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.