matching pearls with complexion


Dec 9, 2006
My wife has red hair, green eyes, very fair skin and freckles. What types, colours and overtones should I concentrate on for buying her pearls?
Any idea what she might like?

IMO, it is popular to talk about these matches, but none are hard & fast rules. Basically, to each her own.

You might find out in the end that among the whites, 'rose' overtone is preferred (but don't tell that to whoever swears by the colder silver-white... like I do). But who'se to say that some bluish-gray ones 9Tahiti?) wouldn't look great with red hair ;) Besides, pink or purple Freshadama, anyone? The peach-pink pearls should look great too (remembering my red-hair days!).

It is probably easier to be daring buying for oneself. But if you did want to try something fancier than good-old-white, that's what return policies are for :)

My 2c

There used to be a detailed discussion about pearl overtone and user traits here. You might want to run a search.
I also have reddish hair and green eyes, but a tawny complexion. Although others here have said don't go by clothes, I'd disagree. Generally, I love the more golden/ivory shades, but these look awful with true reds or purples and even some blues. If the lady works outside the home, she may wear a lot of navy or black. Whiter tones go with both. If she is less conservative and wears colors, the non-whites are more appealing. Although letting her make the decision is a good idea, we all love a surprise that says: I thought about this.
icevic said:
I think my solution is: buy her lots and lots, in different colours and overtones, so she has something to go with everything.

That sounds about right :) 'Wonder if that's what folks had in mind while making those multicolour strands available; after all, a lady with red hair is always wearing color :cool: ... while a color picture of me in a gray suit is practically black & white, LOL :eek:

Seriously now: white & white & white is the lest risky, but the least 'personal' too. Your call...
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I wear em all now! I like the ivory with rose or green overtones best but I have gold, pink, several shades of black from light silver grey to peacock, no red yet, I have bronze chocolate.... the list has grown somewhat in the past coulple months...

I have very long natural red hair the s[un gold copper type you can NOT get out of a bottle! fair skin and freckles to share! Other questions to ask yourself is how will she wear them against the skin or on top a sweater??? with work, jeans or evening to the opera or once to the oscars? you get the Idea.. Cream ans white are the most versatile, I wear mine to Bonfires in my PJ's as well as to the opera, special "to-Do's that require me in a elegant gown, ans with Jeans.. also in my Hobby,... so mine get a lOT of use.. I must say most of mine Get a lot of use!

Hope this helps some!
the conclusion

the conclusion

In the end I bought her two strands, one white and one multi-coloured. It seems that silver-white, cream-white, and lavender look the best on her. The pink gets washed out a bit by her skin tone.

But basically they all look great. In the future I will pay attention to the pearls only, and not worry about matching her complexion. As was mentioned above, a lot depends on what she is wearing anyway.
my feeling is always that pearl color should compliment the skin tone not contrast it, but these are certainly not hard rules.

But like someone said, that's what return policies are for.
Complimenting skin tone does not mean matching in color. That is almost never the case. I do disagree with the word contrast, however, as contrasting colors can often compliment each other.
Is it just me, or the pink fws are typically more translucent ?

Returning to matching, is that some sort of myth? I keep hearing the skin-matching mantra in a sales context, but for the pearl wearers I know 'matching' is a matter of whimsical likes and dislikes. Strong colors just go with everything and everyone, more subtle pastels need a bit of context - but that's that for everything, not just pearls. The only product I match with my skin tone is makeup (imagine contrasting concealer! :eek: ).
Skin tone absolutely makes a difference in the color or overtone of pearl. It is very difficult to subscribe to any hard rules, however. Richard Wise discusses this in his book, Secrets of The Gem Trade. He refers to the pairing of skin tone and pearl color as Simpatico, which is a test of compatibility, not simply quality.

Yesterday, Melina Kanakaredes came in for an appointment. She wanted to find a nice Golden South Sea strand. She has a Greek heritage, and thought the creamy gold would be a nice, natural match. She left with a white South Sea strand with intense silver body color with very subtle hints of rose. None of us would have called it until she put it on, but it was clearly a perfect choice for her. It was a combination of her skin tone and her eyes. The gold strand, the more assumed natural choice, did not work at all.
I'm also looking to buy a pearl necklace. My girlfriend is 3/4 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese so she has the standard black hair, dark brown eyes. Her skintone is darker than most pale Chinese/Japanese/Korean but slightly lighter than typical Vietnamese. Since I'm looking for a white Freshwater, would a white body and silver overtone work or should I consider another variation? Thanks!
Hello again Mafiaz,
Sounds like from Jeremy's remarks the white pearls (without pink) would be a good choice. good luck and let us know how it goes.
Hi Mafiaz,

White will definitely look nice on her whatever the overtone is. But the ones with silver and rose overtones would look best on her.
Well if you have similar coloring to me, moss green eyes light brown hair and skin with yellow orange overtones avoid the rose toned akoyas. They are classic and I thoought because I was fair they would suit be but they aren't terribly exciting with my complexion.
Hi Mafiaz,

I find that women with darker tan or olive complexions tend to like the Silver overtones best. The contrast between her skin tone and the pearl can magnify the pearl, it will appear larger against her skin than it really is. Also, because the pearl is situated against a darker background, it will help the pearl 'glow' that much brighter! For true White/Silver pearls I like to refer my clients to the Australian White South Sea pearls, which can take on a very ethereal Silvery-blue that's very unique!