My first pearls are a collection of cheapie freshwater buttons from Thailand. I actually really like one of the rings even though it's cheap and the pearl isn't amazing.
My first special pearls are new and I've only owned for less than a month but I've spammed them all over this forum already! My metallic fireball, Mikimoto 7.5mm akoyas from my mum, and my anniversary present from my boyfriend (which I can have officially tomorrow!)
A great design can make up for a lesser pearl, but heck, you can always replace the pearl with something better later. And rings take a beating, so why not wait until the pearl requires replacing. Some of the things I love the best turned out to be inexpensive.
No one needs a picture but my first pearls were the ubiquitious 80s rice pearls. I was 11 at the time and my parents gave me a bracelet and necklace set. My first "real" jewelry! I felt so proud and grown up.
What a fun thread! I'm enjoying looking at your first pearls
Here are my first pearls, they were a gift:
And here are the first pearls I bought:
When I was 16 I had saved up money to buy my mum two strands, one was made into a necklace and the other into two bracelets. (Unfortunately mum lost one of the bracelets).
I have yet to buy myself pearls, but I have a mental list of pearls I'd like And the more time I spend on this forum, the longer the list is getting...
Ok so I am going to play also. These aren't exactly my first experience with pearls, they are a replacement of a pair stolen from me right after college years ago. The originals had larger pearls and were almost exactly the same as the replacements (My Aunt had given the originals to me from her Second husband.) I found the replacements online quite by accident and got them for nostalgia.
I was definitely excited. I was very close to my Aunt, although they weren't the same pieces…I feel like I had something of her to keep with me again, sometimes I pull them out and think of her. One of the reason I think jewelry can be so profound, the memories they evoke .
So very true, BlackPearlDudeDC ... jewelry can be a great memory token. I have a "life stripe" bracelet in memory of each of our parents, to help me remember the good times ... and my Tahitian strands are in memory of my dad; the last to leave us, and hard ... and he loved pearls ... and even better, a great value LOL (with thanks to PP )
My first pearl was probably from a boyfriend in high school, around 1977-78. It was a small akoya dangling from a gold heart and came with a chain. He also bought me my first diamond (pendant too). He had very good taste for a high schooler. The diamond pendant was only $59 at the local PX. I'm still good friends with him and found out a few years ago he is dying of an incurable disease. When my mom went to Japan in October, she wanted to see him but he wasn't able to go out in public so they just spoke on the phone. I'm glad I still have the necklaces he gave me even though I haven't worn them in decades.
My first pearl strand was a beautiful slightly pink akoya strand my then jeweler grandmother gave me... I wore them during my high school graduation. The pearls were small but beautiful and I loved the way they shone. I kept them for about a year before asking her if I could get a larger pearl and more. I was already working so I paid her the difference and she bought me three loose strands and made me a double strand necklace, a double strand bracelet and some screw back dangling earrings. I still have the pearls and they are very special to me. Since learning to restring pearls, my world has gotten a lot bigger and my pearls are going further in daily wear! Here are the newer pearls from 1980 with their original clasp, in a temporary strand.
Ooohhh didn't know this thread existed until it got bumped by new posts! I have a funny story so I'll play: My very first pearl was a baby 13mm drop GSSP with diamond heart for my 18th birthday. It is the necklace on the right.
In Asia, we don't have Sweet 16; instead, 18 is the coming of age - the age when we can drive, drink and so on. 18 was also a special birthday for me because I'm a summer baby, so high school graduation fell in the same month, and I was moving from Taipei to the States for college.
My parents booked dinner at one of the best French restaurant for our family along with a few other close family & friends to celebrate. I was decked out in a new dress, and the pearl necklace. Half way through dinner, my parents said - "Paula, we can't be naive to think that you're not going to come across alcohol in college. You need to know how it feels like when you are about to cross the line, so, drink up!"... Yes, I have interesting/awesome parents.
So on that night, I got DRUNK on champagne, white wine, and incredible first growth Bordeaux Chateau Margaux and Chateau Latour. And when I say drunk, I had to be carried home and puked all over myself. Pearl survived, but the dress didn’t… And let me tell you – it worked. The number of times I got drunk in college? ONE time. And it was in a closed environment with trusted friends.
I don’t wear it nearly as much these days because of my other necklaces such as Victoria Grayson and Emily Thorne, but it is quite a milestone story in my life. Thank you for letting me share this story & pearl with you all!