I’ll admit it — I’ve been a holdout on the “casual pearls” look. A product of my upbringing, I’ve generally thought of pearls as something one wears with a twinset. Every once in a while, I’ve been known to wind a few long strands around my wrist. I also have a beautiful, funky bracelet made of Victorian mother-of-pearl buttons, but that was about it in the unfussy department.

Nothing much, but it's a start. These pearls are about the size of large peas.

Then this charmer found her way to me, and I rethought my pearls=serious jewelry position. Because it was a super-inexpensive piece (about $15 – and it shows in the already discolored finding), it felt like a good jumping-off point. I’ve worn it again and again this summer, especially with black and white ensembles. And when the leather is shot, I’ll cut it up and recycle the better pearls into something I craft myself, though some of them are too gnarly to save.

In natural light, these are more silver than gold. They measure almost 2" across.

Now that I’ve seen the error of my ways, it seems that these casual pearl pieces are turning up more often — or maybe I’m just seeing them where I didn’t before. When MamaRubi and I were on our open studio jaunt a few weeks ago, she treated me to these lovely earrings. It seems they’re called “blister pearls,” and I’ve never seen anything like them. But I’m absolutely planning to wear the heck out of them — I’ve got a bunch of scarves they’ll look wonderful with, as soon as it’s scarf weather. At 98 degrees, that wouldn’t be quite yet.

The big question is, will I be able to resist the temptation of Chan Luu? On my budget, I think it’s a safe bet that I will!

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