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A new study by A2Z Market Research has revealed that the global pearl jewelry market is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 13% between 2022-2031. But, you don’t need market research or insight reports to see just how hot the pearl jewelry market is. 

Once thought of as traditional, the pearl has now skyrocketed to pop-culture fame. Rihanna announced her pregnancy this February wearing a string of pearls around her waist, and Atlanta Braves’ Joc Pederson was even spotted in the outfield wearing pearls during the 2021 World Series. 

But it’s not just celebrities who are onto something. Market research firm MVEye and the Cultured Pearl Association recently conducted a study amongst 1,000+ fine jewelry buyers aged 25-to-55 years of age and found that millennials were much more likely to buy pearl jewelry for themselves (46%) as compared to their 46-to-55 year counterparts (16%). 

On the Spring/Summer 2022 catwalk, everyone from Prada to Dior and Tom Ford seemed to feature the trending pearls, with famous pearl enthusiasts like Chanel and Vivienne Westwood leaning into the trends to honor their own fashion house traditions, too. Coco Chanel famously wore pearls and incorporated faux pearls into her designs, while Vivienne Westwood juxtaposed her punk style with the oceanic gems. 

Social media is backing the trend as well. Last year VW’s pearl necklaces went viral on Tik Tok as Gen-Z users posted their VW necklaces with their vintage-inspired outfits. And for 2022, Pinterest, one of the world’s leading social media platforms, has highlighted pearls as one of the year’s biggest trends.

In their annual ‘Pinterest Predicts’ report, the site explains that, “In 2022, people of all ages will embrace iridescent accents in their homes, in their jewelry boxes and even as nail art.” Pinterest backed ‘pearlcore’ — as it’s being called — with increasing search results. Terms ​like ‘pearl ring simple’ are up 2x and ‘pearl necklace men’ are up 7x.

“Pearls don’t have to be preppy,” fashion expert Deni Todorovič told the platform. “I see them more as an easy way to elevate anything, such as a denim jacket or wedding party invitation. Pearlcore gives you edge, texture and that gorgeous iridescent glow.”

The contemporary twist and heightened enthusiasm around this traditional and timeless gem are particularly notable for their crossover into unisex and men’s jewelry. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs has famously called his Mikimoto pearl necklace his “good luck charm,” but today, everyone from rapper A$AP Rocky to movie stars like Harry Styles have been wearing these gems from the sea. 

“Something that was considered for older elites has had a resurgence due to high-profile influencers,”  Jack Cannon, one-half of emerging jeweler Hatton Labs, told The Evening Standard. “And they require no special cutting or polishing, which means you get statement pieces without breaking the budget.”

While the trend is hot now, there seems to be potential for more lasting style permanence that would back that 13% CAGR growth over the next decade. With an image that’s moving away from royalty and the social elite and being embraced by all — from those on the outfield to those rocking street style — the pearl seems to be transforming into a gemstone for the people.

“The trend that’s grown shows pearls are not just a classic line,” Farfetch’s Head of Jewellery, Min Lee, explained to the Evening Standard. “They can be fun, humorous, innovative and a statement.”