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Browse these categories under "Antique & Vintage Pearl Jewellery"

AC Silver is proud to offer an exceptional collection of vintage and antique pearl jewellery, including antique pearl rings, pearl earrings, bracelets, pendants and more.

Andrew Campbell personally hand picks all of the vintage and antique jewellery in our inventory. All of which are provided with independent diamond grading report cards and/or certificates.

All of the pearl jewellery for sale at AC Silver includes free and insured global shipping.

Antique Pearl Jewellery

As we would suggest with any item of jewellery, make sure your pearls are regularly checked and cleaned. If you wish to clean your pearls at home simply wipe them over gently with a very soft cloth. We’d recommend you do this briefly after each use.

Never be tempted to clean your pearls using an ultrasonic- this treatment would be far too abrasive. If you’re ever in any doubt about how to clean and care for your pearls be sure to contact us or take them to your jeweller to be professionally cleaned.

Pearls need a little extra care and attention. They should be stored in a soft pouch or cloth and kept separate from other jewellery to avoid any abrasions. Pearls are one of the softer stones used in jewellery making and can be very easily scratched.

Be sure to keep pearls away from extreme heats and humidity’s and avoid perfumes or creams coming into direct contact with your pearl.

The pearl is a natural gemstone which has been coveted by humans for centuries. Although the most common depiction of the pearl is a white or creamy colour, there are in fact a variety of pearls ranging in colour from grey, black, silver, blue, pink, and many more. There are even variants of pearls which are iridescent; appearing simultaneously as multiple colours.

Trained experts can identify a genuine pearl from a fake through a microscope with ease. Natural and cultured pearls have grainy surfaces which can be identified with magnification, while imitation pearls have smooth and eggshell-like surfaces.

It is possible for a layperson to test this at home using the ‘tooth test’; by rubbing the pearl gently against one’s tooth, the aforementioned ‘graininess’ of the genuine article can be felt. Real pearls are a very delicate gemstone and very much beloved – for good reason. Whether naturally-occurring or ‘man made’, pearls are unique among gemstones, with a lustre and shine that cannot be compared to any other stone.

The most common question regarding pearls is the difference between cultured pearls and natural pearls.

Cultured Pearls vs. Natural Pearls

Although it may seem complex, the differences between natural pearls and cultured pearls are simpler than one might expect. Natural pearls are produced entirely in the wild without any human intervention. Small pieces of dirt and debris enter the mollusc, and over time the inner coating of the mollusc coats the debris and transforms the dirt into a pearl.

Due to destructive elements like climate change, the natural habitats of the molluscs which produce pearls are significantly diminished, and so naturally-occurring pearls are very rare. Most items of jewellery with natural pearls are antique and vintage, since the natural gemstone is much more difficult to obtain today. Due to their rarity, natural pearls tend to cost significantly more than their cultured counterpart.

Cultured pearls are made in much the same way as natural pearls, however the sediment required to craft the pearl is placed there by a human pearl farmer. Pearl farms produce the majority of pearls used in jewellery today, featured in pearl necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pearl rings, etc. Cultured pearls require human intervention, and are created from molluscs that are raised specifically for the purpose of pearl production. This involves inserting a shell bead along with a small piece of tissue to eventually create a coating around it – resulting in the formation of a pearl. There are four different kinds of cultured pearls.


Akoya cultured pearls are the most common saltwater pearl. Typically, akoya pearls are the classic white or cream pearl used in jewellery, however, they can also come in silvery blues and sometimes golden hues. They are usually perfectly round in shape, as is the case with most cultured pearls, but other forms are also available. These are usually produced in Japan or China.

South Sea

South Sea pearls come from the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, and are another saltwater pearl. These pearls can be golden, silver or white depending on the type of host mollusc. They are much larger than the akoya pearls and are the largest and most expensive of all the cultured pearls. They are often named the ‘Queen of Pearls’ and are the most sought-after pearls.


Tahitian pearls come from the islands around French Polynesia. The most appealing element of Tahitian pearls is their famous black colour, although they do also come in variants of greys, blues, and even browns, while many are also iridescent to some degree, showing signs of pinks and purples.


Freshwater cultured pearls are the most commonly created cultured pearls. This is because of their range of shapes and sizes and colours. They are also cheaper, meaning they are more readily available and practical for wide use in jewellery. The larger size of the molluscs used to create these pearls also means they are capable of creating multiple pearls at once, making it very cost effective. These pearls are farmed in freshwater ponds and lakes and usually come from China.

Pearls have traditional connotations with purity, wisdom, beauty and wealth. They were once thought to represent the tears of God and have since been connected with royalty; they are often referred to as the Queen of gems. We can trace pearls so far back in human history that it is difficult to pinpoint their exact origin or attribute the original sale of pearls to one person on place.

We can however, trace pearl trading back 5 or 6 centuries before the Christian era when pearl fisheries spread along the South Indian coast. Divers would risk their lives to retrieve the pearls from the Ocean, a sacrifice undertaken for the beauty and wealth of these rare stones.

The Romans held pearls in very high regard. They were revered stones that were only to be worn by those within the ruling class. As all pearls during this era were naturally and spontaneously created they were of extremely high value. It was even claimed by one Roman historian (Suetonius) that the Roman general Vitellius funded an entire military campaign by selling just one of his mother’s pearl earrings.

Pearls were also linked to ruling classes and royalty in other ancient civilisations: for example fragments of pearl jewellery were found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess that dates back to 420 BC; and they were also regarded highly in China, where they were a respected choice of gift for Chinese royalty.

More Ways to Shop

Natural Saltwater Pearl and 3.99ct Diamond, 18ct Yellow Gold Pendant - Antique Circa 1900
Price: GBP £13,950.00
Cultured Pearl and 4.50 ct Diamond, Platinum Dress Ring - Vintage Circa 1950
Price: GBP £13,950.00
Antique 4.40ct Basaltic Blue Sapphire and 3.14ct Diamond, Pearl and 12ct Yellow Gold Pendant/Brooch
Price: GBP £13,950.00
Antique 4.73 ct Aquamarine and 0.54 ct Diamond, Seed Pearl Necklace
Price: GBP £12,950.00
Natural Saltwater Pearl and 2.92 ct Diamond, 18ct White Gold Jewellery Suite by Asprey - Vintage Circa 1955
Price: GBP £12,950.00
Pearl and 5.15ct Diamond, 18ct White Gold Stud Earrings - Vintage Circa 1980
Price: GBP £9,950.00
4.08ct Diamond and Pearl, 12ct Yellow Gold Earring and Ring Set - Antique Circa 1870
Price: GBP £8,950.00
Vintage Cultured Pearl and 4.24ct Diamond, 18ct White Gold Drop Earrings
Price: GBP £8,950.00
Antique Pearl and 3.30ct Diamond Line Bracelet in 14ct Yellow Gold
Price: GBP £8,950.00
Cultured Pearl and 5.32ct Diamond, 18ct White Gold Necklace - Vintage Circa 1965
Price: GBP £8,745.00
5.61 ct Diamond and Pearl, 18 ct White Gold Bracelet - Antique Circa 1900
Price: GBP £8,745.00
43.84 ct Aquamarine, 0.85 ct Diamond and Pearl, Platinum Brooch - Antique Circa 1910
Price: GBP £8,450.00
3.51ct Diamond and Pearl, Platinum Brooch - Art Deco - Antique Circa 1930
Price: GBP £7,950.00
1.70ct Diamond and Natural Saltwater Pearl, 18ct Yellow Gold Trilogy Ring - Antique Circa 1910
Price: GBP £7,950.00
5.11ct Natural Saltwater Pearl and 3.04ct Diamond, 15ct Yellow Gold Brooch / Pendant - Antique Circa 1890
Price: GBP £7,950.00
Natural Saltwater Pearl and 2.82ct Diamond, 15ct Rose Gold Bangle - Antique Circa 1890
Price: GBP £7,950.00
Cultured Pearl and 4.02ct Diamond, Platinum Pendant - Vintage Circa 1950
Price: GBP £7,950.00
Seed Pearl and Crystal, 15ct Yellow Gold Necklace - Antique Victorian
Price: GBP £7,645.00
Natural Pearl and Turquoise, 14 ct Yellow Gold Bangle - Antique Victorian
Price: GBP £7,645.00
3.22 ct Diamond and 2.10 ct Aquamarine, Pearl and 18 ct Yellow Gold Pendant/Brooch - Antique Victorian
Price: GBP £7,645.00
Natural Pearl and 0.36ct Diamond, Platinum Drop Earrings - Antique Circa 1910
Price: GBP £7,645.00
Blister Pearl, Sapphire, Ruby, 1.28ct Diamond and 14ct Yellow Gold Eagle Brooch
Price: GBP £6,950.00
Vintage Pearl and 23ct Ruby Strand, 4.20 ct Turquoise and 3.38ct Diamond Clasp, 18 ct Yellow Gold Necklace - Vintage Circa 1990
Price: GBP £6,950.00
Natural Saltwater Pearl, 2.72 ct Diamond and 15 ct Yellow Gold Bracelet - Antique Circa 1900
Price: GBP £6,950.00

Proud Members of

International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
National Association of Jewellery UK's trade association NAJ