For centuries, natural pearls have symbolised refinement and extravagance, cherished by the affluent and aristocrats as a statement of prestige. However, as years passed, pearls were gradually pushed from the spotlight, playing a supporting role to other gems and fine metals. Nevertheless, there is a resurgence in their popularity, with catwalks from Paris to Milan, New York to London and Dubai peppered with contemporary pieces that appeal to both men and women. Pearls have resurfaced in the fashion scene, surpassing diamonds and becoming the preferred statement piece, with notable celebrities such as Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, and Harry Styles endorsing these iridescent drops of lustre, reigniting their popularity. The pearl renaissance is here, and as a family with a history steeped in the rich pearling culture of the UAE, we’re thrilled to see this.
A look at the region’s past will find that pearls were a source of economic wealth and growth for the UAE, as one of the leading exporters of natural pearls from the late 19th century up to the Great Depression in the 1920’s. Natural pearls and cultured pearls are both prized for their lustrous beauty, but differ in their formation. Natural pearls are formed in nature, without human intervention, often triggered by the natural introduction of an irritant such as sand into an oyster or mollusk. These have seen a major comeback in renowned auction houses including Christie’s and Sotheby’s, due to their rarity, historical significance, and the increasing demand for sustainable luxury items. Furthermore, recent sales of natural pearl jewellery have reached record-breaking prices. A notable example was the sale of a pearl pendant which once belonged to ill-fated French Queen Marie Antoinette; the Natural Pearl and Diamond pendant sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $36.8 Million in November 2018. Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are created by physically seeding the irritant into an oyster or mollusk, which then forms a pearl around it.
Pearls are intrinsic to the Emirati heritage and our legacy with Al Fardan Jewellery Abu Dhabi, which is considered one of the largest the jewellery house’s and retailers in the region, founded by our honorary chairman Hasan Ibrahim Al Fardan, under the guidance of his late father Hajj Ibrahim Hasan Al Fardan, who was one of the most prominent and respected pearl traders and connoisseurs, commonly referred to as “The Doctor of Pearls” during this period. As such, pearl collecting is deeply ingrained in our culture and has become a fundamental part of our DNA.
The resurgence of pearls in the fashion industry is no surprise, as they are one of the most versatile pieces of jewellery worn with almost anything in your wardrobe. As a result, designers and jewellers embrace pearls in new and exciting ways, incorporating them into all forms, from classic pearl strands to avant-garde designs featuring unconventional shapes and colours, including earrings, bracelets, and statement necklaces. While pearls have long been associated with more formal occasions, pieces are now worn in various settings, from the red carpet to street fashion, creating a timeless and contemporary appeal that appeals to a wide range of customers.
As with all fashion cycles, pearls are no longer relegated to your grandmother’s closet and are having their moment in the sun again. And as designers, we are breathing new life into pearl jewellery with reimagined designs for the modern woman and man.
About Al Fardan Jewellery Abu Dhabi
Al Fardan Jewellery Abu Dhabi is the first company established under the Al Fardan Group; one of the leading family-owned conglomerates in the region for the past 65 years. Since its inception in 1954 by Hajj Hasan Ibrahim Al Fardan; a renowned and respected pearl connoisseur, Al Fardan Jewellery has become synonymous with the pearling industry, drawing inspiration from its long and rich Emirati heritage. With a commitment to quality and excellence, Al Fardan Jewellery continues to set the highest standards, creating impeccably handcrafted, timeless designs for the modern woman.
With its airy, modern and luxurious 252 square metre flagship boutique nestled in the heart of Abu Dhabi at The Nation Towers, Al Fardan Jewellery Abu Dhabi is recognised as a leading fine and high jewellery retailer in the region. Already home to a vast selection of regional and international brands including Yeprem, Terzihan, Alessa Jewellery, Repossi, and Chaumet, to name a few, its vision is to become a key global player representing contemporary and momentous jewellery and watch brands.