What The Resurgence Of Pearl Jewelry Means In 2022

It serves as a “metaphor for personal transformation.”

A model wearing Mejuri's Contrast Pearl Climber Studs.

Pearl jewelry has an elegant and luxe appearance. It’s a classic piece that transcends time and is commonly associated with wisdom. Lately, there’s been a renewed interest in this gemstone — you may know it across social media as the pearlcore trend. You might think TikTok stars, celebrities, and Instagram influencers are solely gravitating towards the gem for its graceful style, however, the meaning behind the trend is much more symbolic. In 2022, the pearly whites represent personal transformation and growth.

“It’s poetic and no coincidence that pearls have become iconic again after almost two years of [us in] isolation,” says Angie Marei, the creative director and founder of luxury label MAREI. “Pearls have become a symbol of self-growth and spiritual growth. Maybe even subconsciously, as we have had a lot of quiet time for self-reflection and to think about what is most important to us during these times.”

The formation process of a pearl can take from six months to several years, thus serving as an apt metaphorical representation for one’s journey through life. “The jewels are from the softest and most vulnerable interiors of oysters and mussels. It’s formed over time, underwater, and hidden from view. Thus, making it a wonderful metaphor for personal transformation,” says White/Space Jewelry founder Khadijah Fulton. For those who need a refresher on this process: when an irritant enters into an oyster, it coats that with fluid as a defense mechanism. After repeated layers of the secretions, a pearl is formed. (It takes a single oyster three years to reach a mature age to start producing the gem.)

If you want a meaningful pearl piece to symbolize your evolution or journey in life in 2022, you’ll be glad to know that the classic one-strand necklace isn’t your only option. There are now countless new styles, as brands like Mejuri and White/Space Jewelry are modernizing the look of this timeless gemstone. You can find it paired with diamonds for an extra bit of sparkle on a necklace or as the centerpiece in a sculptural pair of earrings. Scroll ahead, to find the pearl jewelry that represents who you are this year.

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