Did Jackie O Know?

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My mom is a devoted Pearl Girls and we have many talks about pearls… I have to admit I love stumping her with pearl trivia!

Well, the other day we were talking about an old friend of hers who is settling the estate of her mother and discovered that the pearls her mom wore for years were fake. This is very common. Although cultured pearls were well established by the 1940s and 1950s they still were not necessarily accessible or available (especially for small-town women). When my mom’s friend got a strand of pearls from her husband, it was fake. She loved that gift from her husband and wore her pearls everywhere. Did she know they were imitation pearls? Who knows?

jackie kennedy onassis in pearls

Do you know who else wore her fake pearls all the time? Jacqueline Kennedy. The lovely photos of Jackie Kennedy in the White House, going to events and playing with her children. She steals my heart with her devotion to her pearls. but, they were imitation pearls. So, the question is… did Jackie Kennedy know that her pearls were faux? I don’t know why but I suspect she didn’t.

Many women do not know enough about pearls to know if their pearls are fake or real So how would my mom’s friend’s mother know? How would Jackie know?

As I dropped off my dry cleaning last week I noticed the saleswoman had a lovely oval pearl necklace paired with an imitation pearl bracelet. Did she know?

All I can say is, thank goodness that times have changed and we can all have the real thing…. can’t we?

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2 Replies to “Did Jackie O Know?”

  1. My elderly aunt passed away over two years ago and I was her executor and my sister and I got her jewelry. We each picked out a diamond ring or two and the rest was put on consignment at a local jewelry store who specializes in estate jewelry. One case contained a 3-strand set of pearls with matching earrings made by Marvella. I didn’t take these to my jeweler as I didn’t think he would want pearls. I recently pulled out some of her vintage things and saw these pearls I researched them and discovered some interesting things. My sister-in-law came in as I was going through these items and saw this beautiful, flawless necklace and went berserk and pulled out her checkbook wanting to know what I wanted for them. But the oddest thing was she said “oh wow! Those are Jackie O pearls! I have to have them”. I’m a huge Kennedy buff and have quite a collection of books and memorabilia but did not remember Jackie’s famous faux pearl necklaces I was more interested in John, his life, his race for president etc. I was handed a surprisingly large check for this collection and felt guilty But they were that valuable to my brothers wife. I researched even more tonight and found that’s Jackie’s “famous pearls” were sold at Sotherbys for $211,500 and they weren’t even real pearls! Then..bingo..read that she owned some Marvella pearls!!! The ones that brought the big bucks were not Marvella however. These were made of glass. Had to share my story and discoveries and find myself with a little “seller’s remorse” in more ways than one. Wish I had remembered them last October when my daughter got married and she could have worn these gorgeous pearls

    1. Libby, thanks so much for the wonderful story! I love hearing about the pearls and our own love for them. Yes, Jackie O’s pearls were sold for the big bucks and the person who bought them duplicated them and sold strands of “Jackie’s Pearls.” Quite a savvy businesswoman! I am not familiar with the Marvella pearls but I know your aunt would be excited to know her pearls are being loved and enjoyed! Thanks again for reaching out to us and sharing your pearl story! Best, India

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