Kamala Harris made history today when she became the first woman, first Black person and first Asian-American sworn in as vice president of the United States. She wore a strand of pearls around her neck from Wilfred Rosado of W.Rosado to complete her royal purple ensemble by Louisiana-born, New York City-based designer Christopher John Rogers.
Rosado, a Puerto Rican jeweler, also based in New York City, designed the Australian South Sea pearl necklace, featuring 11.5 mm pearls with white diamonds set in 18-karat yellow gold specifically for Vice President Harris’ groundbreaking moment. As the first woman to serve as second in command of the U.S. government, she isn’t following anyone’s footsteps but is continuing a long tradition of female first ladies who have worn pearls, from Martha Washington and Dolly Madison (the first to wear them to the White House) to Jackie Kennedy and more recently, Michelle Obama, during their time in the political spotlight.
“It is truly an honor and a dream come true for me to be able to create jewelry for Kamala Harris and for such an important moment in history,” said Rosado in a statement. “She embodies the diversity and spirit of this country and I am so proud of her progress. Pearls are an obsession for me and I’m always striving to find new ways of working with them. With this collection we are defining a new language for pearls, bringing a perennial favorite into the future and shattering the norms of jewelry for both women and men.”
Rosado is known for his unconventional work with pearls, notably for his Pearl ID pendants. In them, he inlays letters and symbols into the body of each sphere by working with master stonecutters in Germany before sending them to Italy to be set with precious stones. For Vice President Harris, he put another twist on the traditional pearl strand necklace by setting each pearl encircled in gold so they appear suspended in a halo. But as she forges a new path in American history, Harris hardly needed to make much more of a statement.