10 Ways Jewellery Changed during the 19th and 20th Centuries


6. Pearl Culture

Before the nineteenth century, pearls were even more highly regarded than they are today. Large and perfectly-shaped pearls were rare and expensive finds. In the early twentieth century, however, techniques were developed that allowed for pearl culture. Essentially, a Japanese biologist learned how to employ a grafting needle to force an oyster to produce an exquisite pearl. This discovery launched the cultured pearl industry allowing many women – not simply countesses and queens – to own a rope of pearls.

More: 10 Most Beautiful Ways to Wear Pearls