The humble pearl is going through a reinvention and finally getting the credit it deserves. Designers are re-imagining pearl jewelry and using the once overlooked gem in the exciting ways previously reserved for mineral gemstones. Though it's fun to shop the unique pearl jewelry available these days, sometimes you just want classic studs, a bracelet, and simple pearl rings.
Though pearl jewelry — and jewelry in general — has gone through a sort of renaissance as more indie designers bring fresh ideas to the scene, you're often left with two options when shopping for rings: minimalist or ornate engagement rings. If you have a classic style, you probably want to find a pearl ring that lives between both worlds; not too much bling, but still with a wow factor.
It's tricky, but it's not impossible. Explore boutique sites like Need Supply Co., Kindred Black, or Maimoun — curated shops do the heavy lifting for you. With pearls' newfound popularity, designers like Anna Sheffield are creating stunning reverse attelage pearl rings that are pieces of art you can wear. At $1,025, the ring highlight's Sheffield's experience in sculpture, opening the ring's design to allow a band of negative space while anchoring the pearl in six-pronged gold hemisphere.
Or, you can go back to the very start of cultured pearl jewelry. Kokichi Mikimoto cultured the world's first semi-spherical pearl in 1893, and ever since, the Mikimoto brand has been the place to find stunning pearl jewelry. Mikimoto's pearl rings have plenty of sparkle — like the Embrace ring surrounded by pavé diamonds for $3,500 — but never let the pearl's natural beauty go out of focus. The use of 18k white gold lets the diamonds seamlessly fade into the background while the Akoya cultured pearl's sheen catches the eye.
Though Poppy Finch only launched in 2014, the brand's use of pearls shows a deep appreciation for the gem, and if you have a timeless style you'll love Poppy Finch's Modern Pearls collection. The brand consistently dreams up ways to combine yellow gold and traditional white pearls in a way that's classic yet interesting; Poppy Finch's Trio Pearl Bar Ring for $280 only uses pearls and 14k gold, yet ends up looking refreshingly modern.
You've no doubt already heard about J. Hannah and its classic pearls, too — it's a jewelry brand fashion editors love. This J. Hannah pearl demi signet ring for $595 is a simple ring done incredibly well, and shows why the brand deserves a place in your jewelry collection. Pairing a typically masculine thick signet band with a feminine pearl puts a twist on a ring you'll never want to take off (though you don't have to, since this one will go with everything).
In the words of the forever chic Coco Chanel: a woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls. While her layers of pearl necklaces may be more of a special occasion look for you, a pearl ring is the everyday alternative. Continue scrolling for 12 simple rings that prove that pearls are a classic girl's best friend.
This simple ring looks like a perfectly spaced stack.
This negative space-focused ring was inspired by a Kandinsky painting.
Poppy Finch does pearls so well. This ring is a delicate example of the brand's expertise.
This ring has it all: pearls, diamonds, and 14k gold.
The way the wire sits on your finger emphasizes the pearl.
Diamonds help this pearl ring sparkle.
Wear this bolder pearl ring with a stack of thinner gold bands.
Get this unique ring in rose gold if you prefer blush tones.
This ring is more organic, but still classic with a large pearl and sterling silver.