The shimmering beauty of mother-of-pearl jewellery

The incandescent material shines bright in these five fresh designs.

By Carolyn Meers 30/06/2017

Mother-of-pearl is having a moment — and jewellery designers are taking notice. Here are five modern jewellery designs on which the durable, luminous material — found on the brilliant outer layer of pearls and the interior of some mollusk shells — has been used to masterful effect.

Sorellina

Jewellery brand Sorellina— Italian for "little sister" — is, fittingly, run by sisters Nicole and Kim Carosella. The New York–based design duo is adept at crafting fun, art deco–inspired pieces with just enough edge. These angular 18-karat yellow gold earrings feature white mother-of-pearl and diamond-studded black onyx, $US4950 (about $A6465).

Retrouvai

Taking its name from the French word _retrouvailles_ — which roughly translates to "reunion" or "rediscovery" — Los Angeles–based brand Retrouvai makes jewels that reconnect clients with classic designs and motifs from the past. Its 14-karat gold Grandfather Compass pendant, $US9800 (about $A12,800), takes cues from antique pocket watches and maritime compasses; it features a diamond-dotted mother-of-pearl sphere that rotates within a circular frame.

Vhernier

Vhernier's Rosa earrings are sold as singles, allowing clients to pair them with similarly pearlescent earrings in the collection to create an intriguingly mismatched, on-trend look. These examples, $US8500 (about $A11,100) for a single, are made with turquoise-hued titanium, grey mother-of-pearl, rock crystal and diamonds.

Picchiotti

Intricately layered mother-of-pearl petals surround a stunning 5-karat cushion-cut sapphire in this statement ring (price upon request) by 50-year old Italian brand Picchiotti. Made of lightweight titanium and called the Blue Titan, this piece marries modern materials with the skilled craftsmanship for which the family-run jewellery house is known.

Nikos Koulis

This elegant rose gold cuff (price upon request) is a beloved design from Koulis' Universe collection and features 13 rectangular mother-of-pearl pieces which graduate in height to create a bold statement with a dash of sleek Art Deco style. For some additional glamour, each rectangle is topped with pink sapphires and white diamonds.

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