Famous Pearl Jewelry Pieces and Their Stories: Unveiling the Intriguing Tales Behind Iconic Pearl Masterpieces


Throughout history, pearls have held a special place in the world of jewelry, captivating people with their mesmerizing luster and timeless elegance. Some pearl pieces have become iconic, carrying with them fascinating stories of love, power, and intrigue. In this blog post, we'll delve into the captivating tales behind some of the most famous and legendary pearl jewelry pieces in history, showcasing their remarkable journey through time.

  • La Peregrina Pearl

La Peregrina, which means "The Pilgrim" or "The Wanderer," is a stunning pear-shaped pearl with a storied history spanning over 500 years. Discovered in the early 16th century in the Gulf of Panama, it was first presented to King Ferdinand V of Spain. The pearl then adorned Spanish royalty for generations and even had a brief stint in Napoleon Bonaparte's possession. In 1969, actor Richard Burton famously purchased La Peregrina for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The pearl was later set in a Cartier-designed necklace featuring diamonds and rubies, adding to its legendary status.

  • The Hope Pearl

The Hope Pearl, named after its original owner, Henry Philip Hope, is one of the largest saltwater pearls ever recorded. It weighs an astounding 450 carats and displays a unique drop shape with a stunning combination of colors, ranging from greenish-gold to brownish-gray. The pearl was once a part of the Hope Collection, a renowned assortment of precious gems, and it is now housed in the British Museum of Natural History in London.

  • The Imperial Hong Kong Pearl

This remarkable pearl necklace is composed of 127 graduated natural pearls, hand-selected for their size, luster, and near-perfect round shape. The largest pearl in the strand measures an impressive 15.4 mm. The Imperial Hong Kong Pearl necklace was sold at a Sotheby's auction in 1999 for a staggering $2.3 million, setting a world record at the time for the highest price paid for a natural pearl necklace.

  • The Duchess of Windsor Pearl Necklace

This exquisite double-strand pearl necklace was once owned by Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, who was known for her impeccable taste in jewelry. Comprised of 28 large, beautifully matched natural pearls, the necklace was a gift from her husband, the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII. The necklace was later sold at a Sotheby's auction in 1987 for $733,333, making it one of the most expensive pearl necklaces ever sold at auction.

  • The Umm Kulthum Pearl Necklace

Umm Kulthum, the legendary Egyptian singer, was known for her love of pearls, often wearing multiple strands of pearls during her performances. One of her most famous necklaces is a three-strand natural pearl necklace, consisting of 277 pearls. In 2008, the necklace was auctioned off at Christie's Dubai for a remarkable $1.4 million, highlighting the enduring allure of natural pearls.


The fascinating stories behind these iconic pearl jewelry pieces demonstrate the enduring appeal and mystique of pearls throughout history. These legendary pearls have captivated royalty, celebrities, and collectors alike, showcasing the timeless beauty and elegance that pearls have to offer. At House of Pearls, we're proud to offer an exquisite selection of pearl jewelry that allows you to create your own unique story. Explore our collection and discover the perfect piece to cherish for generations to come.