Pearls are often considered a feminine gem, and they haven’t always been very popular for men’s jewelry. However, trends change, and these days, there are actually quite a few men wearing pearl pieces. So let’s find out if men can confidently wear pearls and, more importantly, which kinds they can and should wear!
Men can absolutely wear pearls. These days, we are seeing many famous and fashion-forward men wear pearl jewelry, including necklaces, accessories, earrings, and bracelets. However, men wearing pearls is not a modern concept; Polynesians warriors and Chinese and Indonesian royalty used to rock the precious gems as well.
In this article, we are going to find out why many people think men can’t wear pearls, as well as the history of the gem as a sign of power and masculinity, and even what kinds of pearl jewelry men look great in today. So keep reading! Everything you need to know is right here.
Why Don’t Men Wear Pearls?
In modern history, pearls have not been a common jewelry choice for men. And you might be wondering: Why don’t men wear pearls?
Realistically, there’s no concrete answer to this question. However, the bottom line is simply that they were labeled, by jewelers and society, to be a feminine gem.
Of course, trends change over and even within generations, but for decades, pearls have very rarely been worn by men as they were seen as female jewelry instead of male or even unisex.
Although many men today are starting to wear pearls, on the red carpet, in photo shoots, and even in day-to-day life, many still have this notion that pearls are not for men.
But now you know that is simply not true! Men can certainly wear pearls and it doesn’t make them look or feel any less masculine.
In fact, before our modern idea that pearls are not for men, the gem was worn throughout history by some of the strongest and most powerful men in the world.
The History of Men Wearing Pearls
It is important to understand that pearls are a precious and rare gem, and for centuries throughout history, they were worn by the elite and powerful men and women of various cultures around the world.
Some of the earliest known men wearing tattoos were the Chinese royalty and nobility in 2300 BC. At the time, the pearls were seen as a symbol of wealth and power, as well as protection from fire.
Also pearls were worn by the Indian Maharajas, or princes of India, as adornments on their turbans to show their immense power.
Even the fierce polynesian warriors used to wear pearls to portray their status within the community and success in battle.
In fact, only in recent history, i.e. the past several centuries, has the symbolism of pearls changed from a sign of power to that of purity or femininity.
What Do Pearls Symbolize for Men?
Now, it is time to talk about the symbolism of pearls for men. And it is an extremely interesting topic as the meaning of pearls has changed drastically over the past 2,000 years.
As you now know, when pearls were worn by male leaders and warriors, they represented wealth, power, and ferociousness.
However, many have also considered these sea gems to signify great wisdom, especially that gained through experience. And they also are known to offer protection, provide good luck, and even procure wealth.
But somehow along the way people saw pearls changed, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, most Europeans associated pearls with purity, chastity, beauty, and delicate femininity.
Realistically, there is no wrong answer when it comes to deciding what pearls symbolize. But many people are returning to the ancient understanding that these precious gems can bring luck, wealth, and power to men and women alike.
What Kinds of Pearl Jewelry Should Men Wear?
Those who are passionate about the symbolism of gems and stones stress the idea that if you are being called to wear a certain stone, you should certainly do so as it may bring you what you are looking for (even if you don’t quite know what that is.)
So if you are a man wanting to wear pearl jewelry, you should absolutely go for it! Even if you simply like the way they look, something is drawing you to them and you will certainly enjoy how you look and feel in them.
But you still might be wondering what kinds of pearls men should wear. So let’s find out.
Taking current trends into consideration, there are a few pieces of jewelry that you can and should opt for as a man.
- Cufflinks: A common and conservative way to wear pearls is by opting for beautiful pearl cufflinks to wear with your suit.
- Necklaces: The most popular way for men to wear pearls today is in the form of a necklace. Whether it is short and sits on the collar bone, or is long and reaches down towards the belly button, pearl necklaces are becoming an extremely popular fashion choice.
- Bracelets: Another common option for men these days is pearl bracelets. Many are wearing simple strings of pearls or pearl and stone combinations.
- Earrings: Pearl studs have been a classic look on women for centuries, but now, men are realizing that they look great in them too.
At the end of the day, men can wear any pearl jewelry that they want! There is no such thing as women’s pearls or men’s pearls; if you see a piece you think will look good on you, that’s the jewelry you should get.
What Types of Pearls Are Best for Men?
Many people don’t realize that there are actually almost several varieties of pearls to choose from!
Freshwater cultured pearls are the most commonly used pearl in fashion and jewelry design. These pearls are almost always round and come in a variety or colors, including white, peach, light purple, orange, and red.
On the other hand, saltwater pearls are much rarer and, therefore, more expensive. However, saltwater pearls are an extremely popular choice for men.
The reason why saltwater pearls are the more common choice for men’s jewelry is because they often come in different shapes and colors. And therefore, they don’t have the same look as the classically feminine round white gems.
Here are some of the best types of pearls for men:
- Tahitian: Arguably, Tahitian pearls are one of the best options for men as they are black, gray, brown, or a rich blue in color. As many men still see pearls as inherently feminine, the darker coloring makes them feel more masculine.
- Biwa: Although they are less common, Biwa pearls are a great choice for men as their unique oblong shape provides a rougher and less polished look.
- South Sea: These pearls are highly valued and rare because of their rich color and large size. However, many men feel they are worth the price tag for the intense gold color they have.
Once again, it is important to understand that even though these are a few of the currently popular choices, there is no such thing as “men’s pearls.” Men can wear whatever pearls they want and still look incredible!
Best Pearl Jewelers for Men
If you’re convinced and want to go out and get yourself an incredible piece of pearl jewelry, the next thing you need to know is where to do so!
- Pearl Paradise: This company prides itself on offering the largest collection of 100% Tahitian pearls on the internet. So if you like the darker colored pearls, this is a fantastic option.
- Mikimoto: Japanese based brand Mikimoto is considered one of the most luxurious pearl jewelry makers on the planet. If you’re looking for the best quality, go for Mikimoto.
- Peyote Bird: Made in New Mexico, Peyote Bird is known for their incredible pearl pieces that will look great on any man.
it is important to note that pearl prices can change drastically depending on the type and quality of the pearl. So although it is important to find a beautiful piece that suits your style, you should also be conscientious of your budget when shopping.
Can Men Wear Pearls?
The bottom line is that men can definitely, and do, wear pearls and look fantastic.
In general, the current trends are proving that there really is no fashion item or piece of jewelry that is solely made for one gender. Everything, including pearls, can be worn by men or women.
Just remember, if you’re ever in doubt of whether or not men can wear pearls, historically these sea gems have symbolized wisdom, power, protection, and luck, and many of the world’s most powerful, strong, and manly men have worn pearls with pride.
And now you know the varieties of pearls so that you can feel confident choosing the right pearls for your style and price point, and know what it means to wear them.
Our Team of 10 includes jewelry experts, antique Buyers & Sellers, baseball card collectors, and other appraisal experts.