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FrontRunners: Cultured Clash

Jill Newman

The pearl, an enduring emblem of grace, is displaying its edgy side in contemporary jewelry designs. The striking new pieces shown here employ dark jewels or rough metal to set off the pearls’ smooth luster. Theresa Bruno of Jordan Alexander (www.jordanalexanderjewelry.com) dyes pearls and slices them in half to create pieces such as navy pearl earrings with Peruvian opals, peridots, pink sapphires, and silver ($6,480). Marco Bicego (www.marcobicego.com) has interspersed black Tahitian pearls with black diamonds to form a graceful strand necklace ($20,490). Julia Shlovsky (www.juliashlovsky.com) has suspended an elegant South Sea cultured pearl set with white diamonds on an oversize necklace of oxidized silver links ($14,895). And Mastoloni (www.mastoloni.com) showcases a South Sea cultured pearl in a ring with a black- and white-diamond setting ($19,800).