Bonjour! Today’s Tuesday Random is about jewelry. Again. I can’t help myself.
One of my all-time favorite shops on Place Vendôme is the exquisite Japanese jeweler Mikimoto. This specific shop on Place Vendôme opened in 1986 but Mikimoto opened its first shop in 1899 in Ginza, Tokyo. Since then, it is best known for providing jewelry worn by Marilyn Monroe. Not only does Mikimoto feature heavily in certain personal memories, it is in my experience the friendliest of all the luxury shops on Place Vendôme.
Obviously, everyone on Place Vendôme is very well-trained, very courteous and – obviously – very good looking. There is this incredibly beautiful saleswoman at Dior joaillerie for instance who looked exactly the part : yes, she looked like Charlize Theron in the J’Adore ad. My male friends, who have bought gifts for loved ones in other boutiques on Place Vendôme, testify that the salespeople are very much in tune psychologically with what their customers are looking for. They understand the most subtle sign that the price of the jewelry is too expensive and immediately bring to the client’s attention more affordable pieces with subtlety, avoiding any chance of embarrassment.
There is, however, something undeniably sweet about the salesladies at Mikimoto. I can’t explain this : they are la crème de la crème. And this is important because part of the experience of going to such a high-end boutique is being advised by someone you like and trust, who has impeccable taste.
In France, when a young girl turns 18, the traditional gifts from her parents would be a necklace of pearls and an Hermès scarf. And these are appropriate because they can be worn for a lifetime and can also be passed on to the next generation. Pearls are timeless, even if they are not trendy.
I have been wearing pearls for as long as I can remember. They are perfect for a family gathering, a big event celebration or for a formal affair. Even on a day when you’re not dressing up, pearls can upgrade a casual outfit to the status of elegant attire.
Pearls come in all sizes, shapes, hues, quality and of course, at every imaginable price point. Some are natural, others are cultured (farmed), and there are more and more imitation pearls around. You can find more information on the internet. I’ve been given some beautiful natural pearls, as well as many more affordable cultured or imitation pearls.
I have heard that in Tahiti, they are experimenting with cultured pearls. Instead of a random shell nucleus, they are transplanting a gem nucleus. In this specific example, diamond. Then the shell builds some nacre layers around the diamond and the pearl is formed. And here is the interesting part: with a laser, the pearl is cut in lace-type motifs and the diamond shines through intricate layers of nacre. Amazing right? I don’t know if this is already a commercial business, but I have heard this from a banker in Tahiti.
More than jewelry, it’s art.
Unlike other pieces of jewelry, such as gold or diamonds, pearls are pretty safe to wear. I have never heard of someone being mugged for pearls in Paris.
I love pearls. And if you wear them often, they will pick up the natural oil from your skin, adding to their lustre.