White, Black, and Pink Oh My! What different colored pearls mean!

Pearls have been a classic statement of beauty over the years and as Jackie Kennedy said “Pearls are always appropriate”. Pearls have a simplicity about them that compliments every wearer. Pearls have gained their place in the jewelry world and are sought after among everyone no matter what your style! When we think of pearls we automatically think of their white radiant luminosity, but gradually pearls have been deviating from their standard white color and embracing new ones.

Over the years colors have developed meanings. A whole branch of psychology and marketing is now dedicated to the study of colors and their influence on the mind. This is called color psychology. This idea has kind of creeped into our everyday lives and understanding of colors.

For example, we all know that Red means love, anger, blood, and passion. And most of us know that black means death, evil, or mystery; white means peace, innocence and marriage. While some of these color theories are self-explanatory, many are not and need explaining. With pearls it is difficult to tell what the different colors are meant to represent, but that’s why we are here to help!

white pearl earrings


How are the colors formed?

When looking at pearl colors it is important to understand something, there are two layers to the pearl. These layers are called the body and the overtone. The body is the base color such as white or black. The overtone is the color that is place on top of the body and gives the pearl its specific color shine. So, for example, a green pearl is not actually green (unless it has been dyed green in the culturing process), it is a black body with a green overtone. That is why there are so many colors of pearls, because depending on the overtone the color of the pearl can shift completely!

What do the colors mean?

White (Classic) Pearls:

white pearl drop earrings

White is typically the color of peace, marriage, and innocence, but is that what they mean with pearls?

The meaning of white pearls have changed over the years. In the Roaring 20s they were a sign of glamor and vivacity, rows and rows of long pearls could be seen on the famous flappers of the times and were a staple of the time period. From there they took on a symbolic meaning of success and classic beauty. Worn around the necks of powerful women of the time such as Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. Today, pearls can be incorporated into almost any style that the wearer desires but they still remain a timeless piece of class.

While the introduction of different colored pearls has created new competition for the classic white ones, they still remain the most popular and sought-after shade. From earrings to necklaces, hair pins, and rings, you can never go wrong with a white pearl! The white pearl can be incorporated into any style, but they go along seamlessly with a gorgeous cocktail dress, a long evening gown, or a perfectly executed business outfit. They are the perfect color to go for when you want to get a loved one a timeless and classic piece of jewelry that they are sure to love. Look no further if this is what you are looking for for yourself or another!

If you need more help with choosing the right white pearls for you check out our “Why should I wear Faux Pearls instead of Real Pearls?” blog! It makes choosing the right pearl style and piece of jewelry incredibly easy.

Black Pearls:

black pearl earrings

These pearls often have different colored undertones which makes them shine different colors in the light. A black pearl can have a pink or green overtone that completely shifts the radiance of the pearl, making it look green, blue, or even purple. Black pearls have always existed but they were always considered lesser in value than their white counterparts. According to Kari Pearls black pearls “became fashionable in Europe largely through their popularity with Empress Eugenie of France, then at the height of her power”. After the Empress adorned herself in these richly colored pearls, their popularity began to rise. Today, black pearls are the rarest and most valuable pearls, they have even been deemed the “queen of pearls”.

Black is the color of death and evil, but it’s meaning with pearls is not nearly as grim. When a pearl is black it can represent many things. Some of the more popular meanings of black pearls are representative of mystery, strength and independence. Confidence is key to wearing these pearls, paired with a simple white dress really lets these pearls stand-out! These pearls are a little more difficult to style with everyday outfits, but a simple black pearl stud earring is still classy and easy to wear day to day. These pearls shine best in a more formal setting and go best with clothing that is lighter in color than these gorgeous pearls! But there are always exceptions so feel free to experiment and step outside of your comfort zone!

Champagne/Gold Pearls:

Gold Pearl Necklace

The gold or champagne color is often viewed as the color of riches, extravagance and excess, but, champagne and gold pearls are often associated with wealth and luck. According to The Gem Society “the Chinese love golden pearls, believing they bring prosperity and luck. Chinese artworks often depict dragons holding golden pearls in their mouths or claws”. Their golden color is often connected to the use of gold and golden coins, giving them their tie to wealth.

These gorgeous pearls are relatively easy to pair with outfit choices and color combinations. Champagne and gold pearls do have a very different symbolic meaning than white pearls, but they can be worn very similarly to white pearls! For an everyday look, try an understated champagne pearl necklace or simple stud earrings! For a more formal look, try pairing with a simple black dress or jumpsuit to make these pearls stand out!

Rose Pearls:

pink pearl earrings

The color pink is a combination of the colors of white (purity) and red (love), coming together to create tranquility and romance. Rosy pink pearls are the ultimate romantic gift! Their soft pink color is reminiscent of romance and is a stunning color on anyone! These pearls exemplify romance and purity. This color is everything you can want from a pearl today, it is sophisticated while still remaining fresh and new. This color pops on any skin tone and exudes sophistication!

This simplistic and soft color is perfect to pair with pretty much any outfit you have! It can be worn in the office everyday and it can be worn to a formal event as well. This style is a perfect way to make a statement while still remaining true to your own style! The pink pops on darker colors (particularly black) but still shines through when paired with muted tones as well!

Chocolate Pearls:

chocolate pearl necklace

Chocolate pearls, doesn’t it just sound sophisticated? That’s because they are. These pearls are the perfect blend of white and black pearls and create a deep color that is to die for. The rich deep color of brown represents a connection to the earth, a grounding to one’s self and to others around them. These pearls are symbolic of dependability and protection.

These pearls are a great addition to your wardrobe especially during the fall and winter months. They are warm and inviting while still remaining classy. Style them with a cozy sweater or a big chunky scarf for the ultimate sophisticated day time look. Or just style them with a gorgeous gown!

Silver Pearls:

silver pearl necklace

Silver pearls are a beautiful and simple way to make a statement with your pearls! They are so radiant they seem to shine from within. Again, confidence is key to wearing these pearls, because they represent dignity and organization. The color silver is typically thought of as distant and sterile, but silver pearls have a dignified air around them that make them look sophisticated and stately.

Because of their cool tone, wearing silver pearls, is an everyday affair! Paired with a simple blouse, jeans, and ankle boots these pearls will definitely up your style game. While they can easily be worn everyday, they don’t lose their sense of beauty when worn for formal events, if anything, they seem to shine even more!


Now that we have given you a guide to pearl colors and their meanings, we ask you to take this knowledge and go crazy! Experiment, be taboo, just do you! We have give you a guide of how many people typically wear these colors and with what outfits, but don’t take our guide as the only way to wear something. Get creative! Wear multiple colors at once, do a long and a short strand together, basically just do what you want to do and never apologize! That’s how all the best fashion icons did it! If you still feel like you need help be sure to visit our new personal assistant shopping service! Until next time, my gorgeous readers, stay beautiful!

To get any of these looks we mentioned above, be sure to check out our pearl jewelry online now!

Sources: All of these meanings connected to the pearls were found on a third party website! Click here to visit that site! The meanings associated with the colors can be found here and here!