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?
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?