With a look that’s clearly modeled after faceted gemstones, the new designs from Athens-born, London-based designer Melanie Georgacopoulos are the latest example of sleek, wearable pearl jewelry. Each item in the 15-piece Mother of Pearl Gemstones line is framed in 18-karat gold and spotlights dozens of iridescent mother-of-pearl segments that are pieced together to mimic the facets of a traditionally cut precious stone—think luminous brooches modeled after marquise and brilliant cuts, and pendants faceted to appear like oval and cushion cuts. Designs in the new collection start at $3,660 and go up to $6,700.
Since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art and later launching her brand in 2010, Georgacopoulos has worked with some of the world’s leading voices in contemporary pearl design, including Tasaki. Her joint collection with the Japanese jewelry brand, called M/G Tasaki, debuted in 2015, and additional collaborations are reportedly on the horizon.
As with many of her creations, Georgacopoulos crafted the new Mother of Pearl Gemstones to make a broader statement about current symbols of wealth. “In terms of design, it is probably the most classically inspired collection I’ve ever made,” says Georgacopoulos. “But the pieces were made in response to the incredibly high prices that rare gemstones—mainly diamonds—achieve at auctions these days. [My designs aim to] question the value we place on things in a wider context, which is definitely a contemporary issue.”
For Georgacopoulos, pearls and mother-of-pearl are just as captivating as traditional jewels, if not more so. “I love that [mother-of-pearl] comes in beautiful, iridescent colors and that the pearls are ready to use the moment they are taken out of the sea. They don’t need faceting like other gemstones,” says the designer. “Of course, there are restrictions working with pearls, such as their softness, but I like a challenge!”