In O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” a young husband and wife each secretly sell their most prized possessions to buy presents for the other. Its themes of love, selflessness, and generosity have been retold throughout literature and popular culture, sometimes to great comic effect: In The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden sells his trusty bowling ball to buy a present for his wife Alice—only to find that she has gifted him with a new bag for his ball. In a Sesame Street holiday special, Bert sells his rubber duckie to buy a cigar box to hold the paper clip collection of his pal Ernie—who has sold his clips to buy Bert a soap dish for his rubber duckie. And in an episode of The Family Guy, Peter Griffin gets a job as a masseuse to gin up money to buy his wife Lois a comb for her hair—even as she has cut and sold her locks to buy Peter a bottle of massage oil!
While we hope you don’t have to go to such lengths in your gift-giving experience this holiday season, we trust you have someone so special in your life that you’d at least be willing to. After all, isn’t the point of holiday gift-giving to express your love and affection with something truly unique and precious?
This brings us to pearls. Once so rare they were the provenance of only royalty, today’s modern cultured pearls are an affordable and accessible luxury befitting that royal someone in your life.
“Pearls make the perfect gift for so many reasons,” says Hisano Shepherd, chief creative officer of Pearl Paradise. “Pearls represent purity, so there’s a beautiful sentiment behind them, and they are truly a gift from nature. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike, so when you give pearls, you are giving your loved one something that’s one-of-a-kind. And they’re sustainable: Pearl farmers are keenly aware that for oysters to thrive and create their magic, they require pure, crystalline water and a very clean environment, so they work hard to ensure that.”
As for price point, says CEO Jeremy Shepherd, there’s something for every budget. “Every year,” he says with a smile and a knowing chuckle, “someone inevitably comes to us in the 11th hour on December 23, in a panic, and buys something like a Tahitian or South Sea pearl necklace in the many thousands of dollars range—and needs it to arrive by Christmas Eve. And every year, we make it happen! But then, throughout the season, we have plenty of people who buy small, tasteful Akoya earrings and pendants that are going to be just as meaningful to their recipient. When it comes to pearls, there is something for everyone.”
And when you give a gift as unique as pearls, they often write their own story. Case in point: The first pearl Jeremy gave his wife Hisano when they were just dating. “I was visiting a pearl farmer in Mexico, and I had brought a half-dozen very unusual, color-shifting, metallic freshwater pearls,” says Jeremy. “But while away from my hotel, the pearls mysteriously vanished. Several days after my return to Los Angeles, I got a call from that pearl farmer who told me a person had come to him—selling a clutch of very unusual metallic pearls! Knowing what had happened to me, he instantly knew they were mine and, well, let’s just say when asked about them, the person turned them over, and they soon ended up back with me. Good karma was looking out for me! I took the most beautiful pearl of the lot and created something special for Hisano.”
“From one of those pearls, Jeremy made a beautiful ring with a bezel encrusted with diamonds and pink sapphires,” says Hisano. “I treasure it to this day, and the story behind it makes it all the more significant.”
So now that we’ve established that pearls make the perfect gift, take a look at our gift guide for some advice on what to buy and for whom. As for where to buy, that should be obvious by now: Pearl Paradise has the world’s finest selection of Akoya, Hanadama, Freshadama, White South Sea and Golden South Sea, and Tahitian pearls at the best prices, and with unparalleled offerings such as virtual appointments and concierge service, there’s no reason to shop anywhere else. We’ve got you covered, right now or at the last minute—and you won’t have to sell your bowling ball to make it happen!
Happy hunting, and happy holidays.