There are few statement jewelry pieces as decadent as a pearl ring. Whether you’re in the market for a petite pinky ring, a flashy cocktail ring, or a vintage-inspired pearl engagement ring, the array of both classic and contemporary styles available means that there’s a perfect pearl ring for everyone.
Let’s look at a few things to consider when shopping for your Hepburn-inspired indulgence. Then, take a look at some of our favorite pearl ring ideas!
What to Look For in a Pearl Ring
When you first begin shopping for your new pearl ring, you might be amazed at the wide selection. Pearl jewelry has come a long way since Grace Kelly’s time and now there are pearl rings to suit all styles, seasons, and budgets.
While you’re looking through the range of pearl rings out there (we’ll show you some of our favorites down below), here are a few things to keep in mind.
What kind of pearl do you want?
A golden South Sea pearl resembling a drop of molten sunlight, or a classic Akoya with overtones reminiscent of a rosy sunrise? Or maybe a perfectly petite freshwater pearl is right for you since they hold up better to everyday wear.
You’ll also want to think about what size you want your pearl to be. Larger pearls will command more attention, but they’ll also be more susceptible to damage and wear-and-tear. Smaller pearls will make a subtler, more elegant statement and be a little less exposed to potential bumps and scratches.
What about the design?
Do you like yellow gold, white gold, silver, platinum? No matter what metal you prefer for your jewelry, there will be a pearl ring somewhere that’s just right for you.
Also consider the style — vintage? Modern? Ornate? Streamlined? Geometric? While pearls are often associated with vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry, you can also find pearls being used in all sorts of trim, rich, modernist styles.
What about accents?
Do you want your pearl ring to be a simple solitaire, or adorned with sparkling diamonds, colored gemstones, or — raises hand — more pearls? Once you look through our favourite pearl rings list below, you’ll realize that there is no limit to the inspiring combinations contemporary jewelers are able to offer.
Our Favorite Pearl Rings
1. Akoya Pearl Lana Ring
What it is: A semi-split shank contemporary spin on a classic pearl solitaire.
Why we love it: The band is delicate but still manages to draw the eye, and the pearl can be customized in your choice of size, pearl grade, and overtone. It’s an eye-catching new take on an old classic.
2. Freshwater Cultured Pearl Twist Ring
by James Allen
What it is: A substantial freshwater pearl hugged by a delicate gold band.
Why we love it: This serpentine ring features an undulating band that maneuvers around the pearl to hold it in place. It elongates the finger and adds even more softness to the beautiful focal gem.
3. Graduated Cultured Pearl Ring
by Poppy Finch
What it is: Three pearls in graduating sizes falling across a trim gold ring.
Why we love it: This gorgeous modern design pairs three perfect pearls side by side in a cream colored cascade across the finger. The deceptively simple arrangement adds a whole new dimension to this classic pearl ring.
4. Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Gemini Stackable Starburst Ring
What it is: A celestial-inspired set of three diamond and pearl rings.
Why we love it: This instagram-ready piece is actually a set of three smaller rings, designed to stack on top of each other to create a finished design or to be worn individually for a softer look. The sparkling diamonds add pizzazz without taking attention away from the pearl as the key player.
5. Marguerite Pearl Engagement Ring
by Etsy: MichelliaFineJewelry
What it is: A vintage-style prong-set pearl solitaire.
Why we love it: If you’re in the market for a pearl engagement ring, “prong set pearl” is going to be your new favorite search term. Prong settings are the go-to for diamonds with delicate points and corners to protect them from breakage. Similarly, the prongs around this pearl will offer some protection from day-to-day wear and tear. Plus, the metalwork holding up the pearl is gorgeous!
6. South Sea Pearl Abigail Ring
What it is: A game-changing South Sea pearl on a heavy gold band.
Why we love it: This ring features a showstopping 10-11mm Australian South Sea pearl held up by a thick gold ring that needs no extra adornment. It makes a hard-hitting statement without having to shout too loud.
7. South Sea Golden Pearl Ring
What it is: An urban-inspired South Sea ring that balances edge and class.
Why we love it: From their “City HardWare” collection, this double-shank ring is ultra-modern while still retaining all the elegance you would expect from both the brand and the focal point of the piece — a gorgeous South Sea pearl.
8. Baroque Keshi Pearl Ring
by Etsy: SeaCoveDesigns
What it is: Two delightfully unique baroque pearls paired across an open setting.
Why we love it: This affordable ring pairs two unusual baroque pearls for a look that is organic, unpolished, and utterly boho-chic. No two baroque pearls will ever be the same, so with this ring, you can count on getting something that’s one of a kind.
9. Vine Motif Freshwater Cultured Pearl And Diamond Ring
by James Allen
What it is: A trendy freshwater solitaire with a hidden diamond leaf design.
Why we love it: Face up, this looks like a simple pearl solitaire ring. But once it catches the light, you’ll see the beautiful design of diamond-set vine leaves hiding underneath the pearl — a gorgeous, glittering secret reserved for those who get up close and personal.
10. Golden South Sea Pearl and Diamond Bypass Ring
What it is: A gently diamond-studded gold pearl held aloft by a slender gold band.
Why we love it: This luxurious pearl needs no overture. Two dainty diamonds give it the perfect amount of supporting sparkle while the twist in the band lends just a hint of modern edge. You can customize your ideal size and quality of the pearl.
11. Pearl & Diamond Wedding Band
by Etsy: SzekiStudio
What it is: A glittering row of diamonds interspersed with petite Akoya pearls.
Why we love it: This fantastic new take on the classic diamond wedding band mixes diamond sparkle with pearl luminescence to create the perfect everyday glimmer of luxury. While intended as a wedding ring, this could absolutely be worn as a stylish cocktail ring or just to add a little glow to your workday.
12. Open Double Freshwater Cultured Pearl Ring
by James Allen
What it is: Two complimentary freshwater pearls in an on-trend open design.
Why we love it: A modern take on the classic pearl solitaire, this ring pairs two dreamy freshwater pearls in an open gold setting. The look is trendy and timeless, eye-catching and jealousy-inducing without leaning into ostentation.
13. Tahitian Pearl Ring with Trio Diamonds
What it is: A classic pearl and diamond design with a gothic twist.
Why we love it: A pearl solitaire flanked by two trios of glittering diamond accents is a tale as old as time, but swapping out the classic cream for a Tahitian black is nothing short of inspired. The black pearl gives this look a trendy update, balancing timeless elegance with a burst of personality. The white gold setting is particularly stunning.
14. Cultured Freshwater Pearl Multi-Row Split Shank Ring
What it is: A 7-pearl split shank ring that blends edge with elegance.
Why we love it: This stunning arrangement brings down the house in a pearl and gold-tinted wave. The vertical line of the pearls gives the illusion of lengthening the finger while the open shanks keep the piece looking delicate, even for its size.
15. Akoya Pearl & Diamond Solar Ring
What it is: A classic halo design with a vintage spin.
Why we love it: Halo settings are something you often see with diamonds and colored gemstones, and they work just as beautifully with pearls. The diamonds lend a beautiful amount of sparkle to the piece while offering some protection to the Akoya pearl at its center.
16. White Gold Mabe Pearl Ring
What it is: A bezel set demipearl on a simple band.
Why we love it: Demipearls (also called Mabe pearls) are great because they keep the gem closer to the finger and less exposed to the dings and bruises of everyday wear. The closed bezel setting offers even more protection. The band is a simple gold design to leave the pearl as the star of the show.
Pearl Ring FAQ
Pearls are among the more fragile gemstones, with a very soft surface — only a 2 on the Mohs Scale of hardness. Being an organic gemstone, their surfaces are hugely impacted by the chemicals found in your perfumes, body products, and cleaners.
When wearing pearls for a special night out, do your best to use any sort of chemical product earlier on in the evening while you’re getting ready, and then put your pearls on last before you head out the door. This gives the products a chance to dissipate without harming the pearl.
Then, once you’re finished with your pearls for the night, wipe them down with a soft cloth and store them safely away from other jewelry.
When you ask this question, you’re likely to get one of two very different answers.
The first: “No, absolutely not, pearls are fragile and precious and must be protected at all costs. Don’t abuse them. Don’t sneeze near them. Really, don’t even look at them too hard.”
The second: “It’s your ring, do whatever you want. Who’s going to stop you?”
Both of these things are true. (Except the ‘don’t look at them’ part — we think you should look at your pearls all the time.)
Pearls are indisputably soft, easily bumped and scratched, and susceptible to the harsh chemicals found in things like perfumes and household cleaners. For this reason, it’s usually recommended that you keep your pearls for special occasions and wipe them down with a clean, soft cloth after wearing them.
With that being said, there’s no reason you can’t wear your pearl ring all the time if you know and accept that it will begin to show signs of wear rather quickly. Your pearl ring may begin to lose its shine from exposure to perfumes and body products, and you may start to see little nicks and scratches on the surface. If you think this is going to be a major problem, best put it away and keep it for special nights out.
If, however, you recognize that we all show signs of wear and tear over time and it’s simply part of the wonder that is being alive, then by all means enjoy wearing your pearl ring every single day.
I’m a little biased, but I think pearls are always a good idea. As we saw above, pearls aren’t the most durable of gems — actually, there are very few gems that are less durable — and when worn every day they can start to show their age pretty quickly. For this reason, you may want to choose a harder stone like diamond, ruby, or sapphire for your engagement ring.
However, if you absolutely love pearls, then the most important thing is to have an engagement ring that makes your heart sing to look at it. Wear a pearl ring if that’s the one you know you’ll love best! Just be mindful that it won’t always look perfectly shiny and new.
Pearls and diamonds are a timeless combination — the soft pearlescent luster is perfectly enhanced by the glitter and sparkle of diamond accents. However, you can also find pearl rings with complimentary sapphire and rubies, which are great for adding a little nudge of color without overwhelming the pearl.
No matter the style or setting, pearls are an immortal symbol of beauty, femininity, and elegance. Perhaps more so than any other stone, pearls symbolize a sense of beauty and refinement that transcends trends and generations. Women who choose pearl engagement rings are usually free-spirited, creative, and loyal to classic styles that work for them rather than chasing the latest fashions.
With so many gorgeous pearl rings on the market, it’s totally valid to wonder if there are some fakes out there too. If you can, try to get your pearl ring from a reputable jeweler like some of the ones we’ve shared here.
If you’re still not sure, there are some quick and easy tests you can do at home to test if your pearl is real.
The Right Ring for Everyone
We’ve shared stunning solitaire pearl rings, dainty boho-inspired pieces, and dazzling baroque pearl rings that are as bold as they are beautiful. From classic vintage refinement to cutting-edge jewelry innovations, there is truly a pearl ring out there for every style.
Which pearl ring will end up on your finger?
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