Susan Miller

·Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design, Pratt Institute, 2012

·Bachelor of Arts in Gemology, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2005

·Editor-in-Chief, White Victoria (2018 - present)

·Write and research feature articles and profiles for print and online publication

·Contributing Writer, Modern Jeweler and Ornament

·Write and publish freelance articles for IGS and WSJ Magazine

·Jewelry Appraiser (2012 - 2020)

Are you a millionaire looking for your next big jewelry purchase? Or just a jewelry connoisseur? Anyway, you'll want to check out our list of the most expensive pearl necklaces in the World.

The lion's share of pearl jewelry lovers can only dream of owning expensive necklaces. The average cost of a pearl necklace is between US$400 – US$10,000, but that won't even scratch the surface when it comes to the most expensive pearl necklaces on this list.

These costly necklaces are not your usual jewelry or pearl necklaces – they are best described as either "luxurious" or "highly lustrous." 

Keep reading to discover the Top 10 Most Expensive Pearl Necklaces in the World.

No.10 The Dodge Pearl Necklace via Cartier – Last Sold $1.1 Million in 2018

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Christie Auction House

This famous multi-strand natural pearl necklace used to belong to the Russian ruler Catherine the Great. However, Cartier, an enthusiastic collector of Russian royal jewels, obtained the beautiful pearl necklace following the Russian Revolution in 1917. He subsequently sold the necklace to Horace Dodge, founder of the Dodge Motor Company, for $825,000 - a staggering $70 Million in today's money. 

The inner strand of the Double-Strand Dodge Necklace is 4.35-10.35mm in size, and the more significant outside strand has 86 pearls. The 62 pearls on the Dodge Single Strand Necklace range from 0.05 to 4.20 millimeters. Cushion-cut, square-cut, and old mine-cut diamonds are set in platinum to create both necklaces' gorgeous clasps.

No.9 Beautiful Natural Five Strand Pearls – $1.7 million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: True Facet

Christie's auction house auctioned off this five-strand natural pearl necklace in 2012 for about $1.7 million. The core strand is made up of 63 unique, genuine pearls. The next strand has sixty-eight naturally graded pearls, followed by a string of seventy-two. The fourth and fifth strands each include 73 naturally graded beads. Pearls range in size from 4.10-11.35 mm. This necklace is connected with a blue and gold silk cord. There's little to say about the necklace's origin and history. 

No.8 Darling Double-Strand Pearl Necklace – Last sold for $3.7 million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Expensive World

Even with no known origin and history, this double-strand pearl necklace may still compete with others on our list. The necklace comprises 120 big pearls, each measuring between 6.5 and 12.25 millimeters. The pearls are threaded together and fastened with a cushion cut three-carat diamond clasp, a grade IIa piece—the most structurally pure diamond—approved by Cartier. In 2012, the necklace sold for $3.7 million at a Christie's auction house.

No.7 The Big Pink Pearl – Valued at $4.7 Million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: John and Luna

The "Big Pink Pearl" is an alluring natural abalone pearl, one of the biggest and outstanding of its kind. With a measured weight of 470 carats, this necklace features an organic pastel pink color and shines with 

glittering glows of lavender, green, blue, orange, and silver shades. The origin of the Big Pink is primarily lost; however, scientists and experts believe that the pearls were produced by either Red or Pink Abalone mussels commonly found in the Pacific region around California and Oceania.

No.6 Duchess of Windsor Single-Strand Pearl Necklace $ 4.82 Million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Christie Auction House

Owning this incredible necklace' of exceptional quality, impeccable history, and timeless design, Calvin Klein purchased them from the Duchess of Windsor's collection in 1987 for his then-wife, Kelly. This necklace and pendant were favorites of the Duchess of Windsor, who was often seen with them. The 14-inch long necklace comprises 28 natural pearls and has a clasp marked "Cartier, Paris" studded with two emerald-cut diamonds weighing roughly 2.00 carats and two fancy-shaped diamonds.

No.5 Untitled 4-Strand Natural Black Saltwater Pearl Necklace – Auctioned for $5.1 Million in 2011

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Christie Auction House

Scarce and intoxicating, this dazzling natural pearl necklace is made of black pearls highlighting a Dark Charcoal grey frame color alongside rich shades of aubergine, green, peacock, and silver-like steel color. The origin of this Elegant natural black-colored pearl necklace is unknown and impossible to discern; however, it was recently sold for a record-breaking $5.1 million by the Christie's New York auction house in 2011.

This spectacular array of pearls comprises four long strands of 63, 69, 76, and 81 natural pearls of sizes between 4.9-12.65mm. The Swiss Gemmological Institute investigated the pearls and provided an official gemology report validating the pearls' wild origins and natural un-enhanced hues.

No.4 The Cowdray Pearl — Last sold for $5.3 million.

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Sotheby's Hong Kong

The Cowdray is renowned for its value, historical significance, and rarity. Grey pearls are scarce; only 1 out of 100,000 are Grey. The Cowdray Pearl, however, comprises 38 identical natural grey pearls that cost a whopping $5.3 million. The late Lady Pearson, who subsequently became Viscountess Cowdray, was the original owner of this grey pearl necklace.

 This 43.2-centimeter necklace is composed of beads varying in size from 11.4 to 6.8 millimeters. The clasp on this necklace is a stunning rectangular mixed-cut diamond that undoubtedly provides a lot of glitter and luster to the pearl necklace. Christie auctioned this item in 2012 for $3 million, demonstrating that its value has grown substantially in three years.

No.3 Baroda Pearl Necklace – Last Sold for $7.1 Million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Haute Living 

The Baroda pearls used to be an astonishing Seven-Strand Pearl Necklace made up of dazzling identical natural pearls, with sizes between 10.0-16.0mm. The exquisite necklace was possessed by the Indian Maharajas of Baroda and gained a reputation throughout the years because of its exclusivity and spectacular beauty. The masterpiece had previously sold for $3.13 million and has now broken its record by selling for $7.1 million at Christie's in New York.

No.2 The 7-Strand Natural White Pearl Necklace - Last Sold for $9.08 Million

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Christie Auction House

Easily the most beautiful pearl necklace on this list. This work of unparalleled beauty comprises 614 pearls ranging from 5.1-17.05 mm spread over 7 continuous strands. The necklace is completed with a platinum and golden clasp set with small cushion-shaped Old Mine Cut diamond embellishments. With a $9 million price tag, this easily ranks second.

No.1 La Peregrina was most recently sold for $11.8 million.

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Source: Christie Auction House 

La Peregrina is the most famous pearl on our list and arguably in the World. Also known as the "The Pilgrim" or the "The Wanderer due to its almost 500 years in the hands of different owners. At first, discovered around the gulf of Panama by an enslaved person, La Perigrina was shipped back to Spain and handed over to King Philip II, who gave it to his fiancée, Mary 1 of England. After her demise, La Peregrina was restored to Spain's Crown Jewels and stayed there for 250 years.

Currently the pearl was sent to Christie's Auction House in 2011 after the demise of the last owner Elizabeth Taylor who received the pearl necklace as a gift from her late husband. This pear-shaped pearl originally weighed 223.8 grains (55.95 carats, 11.2 g, almost .4 oz.). It was the biggest pearl ever discovered when it was discovered.

The most expensive pearl jewelry – Frequently asked questions.

Which type of pearl is the most expensive?

the most expensive pearl jewellery

The most valuable pearls are South Sea Pearls. Pearls from the South Sea are the most expensive kind they are. They are the biggest pearls available. South Sea pearl necklaces may cost anything from $1,000 to over $100,000. This is because their massive sizes make them more challenging and time-wasting to culture – these factors combine to make them Incredibly rare and valuable.

What color pearl is the most expensive?

Today's most expensive types of pearls are the South Sea pearls, which naturally exist in white and gold colors.

What grade of pearl is best?

the most expensive pearl jewellery

There is no universally approved grading system for pearls; however, the different methods developed by merchants and wholesalers are commonly used. The AAAAA grade pearls are the highest quality yet discovered, costly and scarce. They are the closest thing to a flawless pearl you can ever think about.

How can you tell a good pearl?

Pearls are immaculate and treasured. However, since discovering these scarce gemstones, people have invented ways to manufacture fake variants. So how can you tell a good and natural pearl? Continue reading to find out how:

Touch test

the most expensive pearl jewellery

The first method is to touch and feel the temperature. Perfect and genuine pearls are always cold when initially touched. Whereas fake pearls always assume room temperature, you won't feel any temperature change when you touch them. Although you must be careful, some fake pearls made with glass can also feel cold.

Luster check

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Luster is the visible quantity and quality of light reflected from a pearl's surface. The luster of a good pearl is always highly reflective and shiny. A good pearl's surface must be reflective enough to allow a clear image of the observer to be seen. A low-quality pearl would not have any luster and appear white, drab, or chalky.

Surface check

the most expensive pearl jewellery

Pearls with a spotless surface are more desirable. The best-grade pearls will have a crisp, mirror-like reflection, so keep an eye out for the lack of disfiguring stains, lumps, or fissures on the surface.

Tooth test

the most expensive pearl jewellery

This is another perfect way to identify a good pearl. When rubbed against the teeth, good pearls always feel rough and gritty, whereas fake pearls will feel very smooth.