Most female members of the Royal Family, including the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall or the Queen herself, are often seen wearing pearls. Pearls are considered a special jewel as they represent wisdom and purity as well as being one of the most valuable gemstones. Meghan Markle, however, never wears them.
The beautiful gemstones have always been associated with the world’s wealthy class and royals for being such an elegant piece.
The Duchess of Cambridge usually opts for pearl earrings, like the diamond pearl drop earrings she donned for her 40th birthday portraits in honour of her late mother-in-law, Diana, which were worth £2.5million.
Jewellery experts at H&T said: “The earrings are from Diana’s personal collection which would mean they were purchased most likely from Garrards the Crown Jeweler at the time and they consist of diamond and cultured pearls rather than diamond and natural pearls that you would expect from the royal collection.
“A pair of diamond and cultured pearl drop penelope earrings would cost normally £20,000-£25,000. However, with the Diana and now Catherine effect, I believe these earrings would be valued at 10 times that figure. The earrings consist of very large, very rare natural oriental saltwater pearls and are from the royal collection so the price tag is large so you can 10 times that figure again.
“The earrings would be valued up to an incredible £2.5 million making the jewellery one of the more expensive pieces Kate Middleton has worn.”
Princess Diana used to love pearls, and the Queen is always seen wearing strings of pearls around her neck.
The Princess of Wales’ favourite necklace was one made by Garrards the crown jewellers.
One of the most iconic moments when she wore a pearl necklace was with her revenge dress which quickly became a signature look.
Her Majesty’s favourite piece of jewellery is the three-row natural pearl necklace that she wears almost every day and she also wore it at her wedding to Prince Phillip.
Sarah Buck from H&T Pawnbrokers explained: “Pearls come in four very different categories and have vastly different values: Saltwater Pearls, Freshwater Pearls, Cultured Tahitian Pearls and Natural Saltwater Pearl.
“Natural Saltwater Pearls have been the bastion of royalty, Maharaja’s and the world’s wealthy elite,” she said.
However, Meghan Markle is hardly ever seen wearing pearls and she only donned them in public on one special occasion.
“Pearls and in particular rows of pearls are seen as quintessentially British and are often associated with the bastion of the older upper-middle class.
“Duchess of Cambridge’s style may have been different if she wasn’t tied to her position in society.
“The renaissance of pearls in the UK is driven by the brilliance of marketing by the world-renowned brand Mikimoto and by the affordability of the new freshwater pearl varieties,” Sarah commented.