Pearls on Men
I had never thought of pearls on men, so when an owner of a local golf course decided to carry my pearls in his gift shop, just imagine my surprise when he asked me to design a pearl necklace just for him!
No, this isn't his photo....I did not get that carried away!
Prince of Pearls
Late Rana of Dholphur in Pearl Regalia
I live in the conservative state of Iowa, but the golf pro I mentioned above had just seen some famous golfer on TV wearing what looked to him like a pearl necklace and he was flamboyant enough to want one for himself too.
So, we discussed ways to make a pearl necklace more masculine. What we came up with was to take off the feminine clasp and add leather strips to use for tying.
Maharajah of Patiala
If you want a pearl necklace with leather strips for ties...just contact me.
But....are pearls for men a modern occurrence? No! As you can see by these old photos of pearls on men...and they're not just wearing a simple pearl necklace. They are lavished in pearls. And yes, these guys were wealthy. The pearls in these photos are not cultured, but natural pearls which are of far greater value.
Pearls are a symbol of power and nobility. The more, the bigger, the nicer, the better. You'll enjoy reading about the recent sale of the Baroda Pearls, to learn about the value of these amazing pearls which belonged, yes, to a man--the Indian Gaikwar of Baroda.
Pearls for Men -- Crowns
And, of course, men have been wearing pearl crowns for centuries, probably millenniums, actually. Here is the official Crown of England and as you can see it is laced with precious pearls.
Maybe a man will wear this again, after Queen Elizabeth passes on her scepter. Speaking of Queen Elizabeth, you may enjoy seeing the photos of my visit to the Buckingham Palace Pearl Shop.
Crown of St. Edward
Official crown of England
And a crown from Persia, modern day Iran. Iran has enormous masses of pearls in its treasury. I remember seeing a photo of them in a National Geographic magazine some time back. (Iran is on the list of places I want to go. I've only been to the border in Eastern Turkey by Mt. Ararat.)
I have now been to Iran...on Kish Island.
Crown of Karan, Engraved Gold Set with Jewels, Fur Trimming, Niello and Openwork, Mid 16th Century
Buy at AllPosters.com
Pearls on Men -- Miters
Various organizations use pearls in their ceremonies as on this miter, which is the official headdress of a bishop of the Western Church.
Miter of Patriarach Nixon
Pearls On Men -- Awards
Queen Elizabeth I, awarded many of her soldiers with pendants with pearls as this one given to Sir Francis Drake.
Sir Francis Drake Jewel
It has a very unusual and interesting cameo of both a black and a white head. You can see it if you look carefully.
I took this photo of a photo at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, unfortunately, the image of the award did not turn out very well. It is at his waist level and barely visible.
Sir Francis Drake Wearing Jewel
See more photos of Sir Francis Drake Jewel here.
Here's another example of a royal award. This Japanese decoration set with pearls. It is the Order of the Crown of the First Class.
Japanese Order of the Crown Decoration
Pearls on Men -- Clothing
Francis 1 King of France 1494-1547
King Francis certainly wasn't afraid of wearing pearls.
And here is a description of the pearls on the wardrobe of King Henry VIII: (The old English is foreign to us...but you'll get the idea.) The reign of Henry VIII in Hall's Chronicle reads as one long succession of jousts and tourneys, masques and mummeries, banquets and processions, at which the king wore "a cote of greate riches, in braides of golde laied lose on russet velvet and set with traifoyles, full of pearle and stone," "cloth of gold and purple tinsell sattin," or "a coate of purple velvet, somewhat made lyke frocke, all over embroudered with flatte golde of Damaske with small lace mixed betwene of the same golde...with great butons fo diamonds, rubes and orient perle, his sworde and swordgyrdle adorned with stones and epecia emerodes, and his bonnet so ryche of juels that fewe men coulde value them.."
Pearls on Men -- Modern Days
Today pearls on men are seen often as tie tacks, cuff links, on money clips and some are getting brave to try out a strand around their necks.
I've added these ebay sales of Mikimoto pearls because often there are pearl tie tacks and cuff links available. These auctions are updated daily...so keep checking back if you're interested in pearls on men jewelry.
Go to main people and pearls page after pearls on men.
Mikimoto Pearls Available Below