Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Such Culture! Even Jackie Wore Faux Pearls

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Such Culture! Even Jackie Wore Faux Pearls

Article excerpt

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore them. You can, too.

Fake pearls are back in the wake of last spring's Sotheby's auction of Jackie O's personal effects.

Many took note when a triple strand of fake pearls - worn by Jackie in a photo that shows John-John, as a toddler, fidgeting with them as he sat on her lap - brought in more than $211,000. The necklace was worth only about $60. While few can expect to get the financial return on their costume jewelry that Jackie did, they can exude the same elegance with their faux pearls that she did.

Fake pearls just like Jackie's are available at Famous-Barr for $36, even less than the former first lady paid. And over at Dillard's some copycats by Carolee state the rest of Jackie's pearl collection in fabulous fakes that cost a little more, about $210 a necklace.

Simulated pearls will flood the local markets this month, ready to become the No. 1 accessory for fall.

At Sears, prices on individual pairs of earrings, necklaces and bracelets range from $7 to $20. Boxed sets in white fabric boxes or lace-covered boxes that double as jewelry cases range in price from $7 to $40.

According to Susan Tierney, creative merchandise manager at Famous-Barr, the Jackie O look-alike necklace that sells for $36 is made by using alabaster glass beads, sorted and selected by size, then dipped into pearl essence over and over until they have the lustrous sheen of real pearls.

Marvella pearls require a minimum of six coatings. They're also hand-strung and often individually knotted.

Individual knotting is the quickest way to pass off a fake as the real McCoy, as real pearls are always knotted between each pearl. That way, if the silk cord should break, only one pearl will escape. An individually knotted necklace lies differently on the neck.

In my checkered childhood with my chum Dickie Fairbocher, grandson of the British consul and a bundle from Britain during the early years of World War II, we went door-to-door in University City, selling his mother's pearls from a broken strand for a few pennies each so that we could go to the candy store for penny candy. …

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