If a woman could choose only one accessory, pearls would be my preference.
Pearl is a concrete representation of classic sophistication and timeless elegance. Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana are style icons who got it right every single time they wear those pearls. Pearls can be natural or cultured. Most of the pearls circulating in the market are cultured while natural are very rare. In roman mythology, it is believed that pearls are tears of Venus, the goddess of love. This explains why some moms don't want their daughter to wear pearls for the belief that they will be in despair in love. If diamond is called King of Gems, Pearl is regarded as the Queenly Gem.
Pearls have always been in fashion and women of all ages can wear it. Depending on the type of pear and color, there are various pearl styles suitable for the very young, those enjoying their golden years, and almost everyone else in the middle may it be brooch, necklace, choker, rings, bracelet and earrings. It goes with a variety of outfit from casual day wear to formal evening wear.
Gracing my neckline on the first photo above are freshwater pearls and my earrings are mikimoto pearls both purchased from the Philippines. Philippines is called the Pearl of the Orient Sea and this could both apply figuratively and literally. The waters around Philippine archipelago is very conducive to pearl culture that is why some southwestern provinces have thriving pearl farms, Palawan having the most number. Freshwater pearl has the property of innate durability, which naturally resists chipping, degeneration, and wear. Mikimoto pearl is cheaper than southsea pearls but cost several fold compared to freshwater pearl. Tourists coming to the Philippines should not miss out buying pearl jewelries as they are really cheap there.
When asked how to check if the jewelry is authentic pearl or plastic, light a matchstick and try to burn the piece. If it smells like plastic or melt, then no doubt, it's not authentic pearl. Real pearls cannot be burned. They might be slightly deformed but the luster remains. Also, you can try rubbing two pearls together. A genuine pearl would turn powdery on the outside but once you rub the powder off, it will return to its lustrous shine. A plastic counterpart would simply rub off its color. Another tip is that the genuine colors of freshwater pearls can only be white, grayish-black, peach, tangerine or lilac. Red, blue, green and other colors are dyed products.
Pearls..I just can't live without them..