Pearls have been a staple jewellery piece for centuries, always synonymous with elegance, radiance and class. As well as being accessories, in the past pearls have been crushed and used in makeup, protected against evil and used as medicine.

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was rarely seen without her pearls. The second wife of Henry VIII had a brief and stormy time as Queen. She was known for being sharp and frank, intelligent and stylish.

The beautiful necklace was looped twice around her neck, with the shorter strand resting against her throat, with a golden B and hanging teardrop pearls. The other ladies of the court who could afford such luxuries followed suit, opting for strings of pearls to complement their Tudor fashion. 

Cleopatra

The regal, Egyptian Queen is said to have often accessorised with pearls. She accentuated her already legendary beauty with well chosen earrings and necklaces that were incredibly rare and expensive during the era.

Something else Cleopatra was famous for was her love affair with Mark Antony, the Roman politician and general. Apparently, Cleopatra bet Mark she could create the most expensive dinner that had ever been served. Mark took her up on this, and she took off one of her teardrop earrings, crushed it in her hand, and dropped it into her glass of wine vinegar where it dissolved. She then proceeded to drink the pearl, which cost roughly the same as 15 countries. 

Queen Elizabeth II

Throughout the decades of her reign, Queen Elizabeth has stepped out in pearls many a time. She wore them on her wedding day to Prince Phillip on November 20 1947 and she has many regal and extravagant necklaces in her collection that showcase pearls. 

The Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia Necklace is one of her most valuable pieces. The choker necklace has four rows of pearls, 20 bars that are covered in diamonds, and a huge sapphire in the centre.