“Pearls: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion.”

“Pearls: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion.”

The BPA would like to introduce you to our new and exciting monthly blog posts from the are hugely talented Maria Pennington .

Maria begins by sharing her most recent pearls adventure!

Hello and welcome to you all, people passionate about pearls and excited by beautiful jewellery!

Jewellery Trade

My name is Maria and I have had and continue to enjoy a wonderful rich career in the jewellery trade for the last 34 years! I have seen and helped to design many incredible pieces of jewellery and visited many jewellery centres around the world. I believe that sharing knowledge and passing on gained experience is vital and necessary not only within our trade but also to the public domain.

Our trade is often seen as glamorous, exotic and exciting, all of which is true! We also know it takes a lot of hard work, planning and study to become a professional jeweller and run a successful business.

My job has changed a lot over the years, but one part that has never changed is my love for the trade and the sharing of its wonderment. For many years now I have given talks on a whole spectrum of subjects, Pearls being a huge favourite. Last week I gave a talk on Pearls to a local Antiques group based in Norfolk. I always enjoy these visits as the people in these groups are so friendly and enthusiastic to hear about our fabulous work.

We gathered in a quaint, traditional pub painted conch pink over looking the village green. As usual there was a warm welcome with an eagerness to listen and learn. I began my talk about the historical influence Pearls have had on various cultures over many hundreds of years from the Roman Empire to our own Elizabeth 1 and her many natural pearl encrusted dresses.

I then went on to explain the differences and formation between Natural and Cultured Pearls including the indulgent South Sea Pearls, exotic Grey South Sea Pearls, and enchanting Conch Pearls  (more of the differences in next blog!). We then discussed pearls in an open forum. How fascinating to listen to everyone sharing all their memories and considerable knowledge.

South Sea Pearl and Diamond Pendant

I took several of my own treasured pearls with me. One piece I absolutely adore is my South Sea and Diamond pendant. My husband surprised me with this one Christmas! When I opened the box my heart raced and my eyes filled with tears! There sat this beautiful, plump round South Sea pearl with the most radiant lustre adorned with a pave Diamond top on a pretty chain. How fabulous was that on all levels!


pearl pendant

Pearls- Memories Evoked

As with many things in life it is the connection between the memories of the person giving the gift and the person receiving the piece of jewellery which is the most valuable. Many of the members brought along their treasured pearls. One such lady brought her single graduated row on a garnet clasp for me to look at. She had inherited them from her mother who had worn them on her wedding day; she also did the same and her daughter. It is a truly lovely story which will no doubt continue.

After a large Hot Chocolate and three hours later I returned home, happy in the knowledge that we all had had a super time! What better way to spend an afternoon looking at lustrous pearls all as individual as the people I had shared the afternoon with.

Till the next time, yours passionate about pearls! Maria


If you love Maria’s story, we would love to hear your pearl  memories! Please get in touch on info@britishpearlassociation.com