Among all professionally successful female characters on film and television, it is THE Diane Lockhart look that has captivated me the most. It’s not so much the clothes but the jewelry. She’s the epitome of chic in power dressing. Her multi-strand pearl necklace with matching ring and earrings in Season 2 Episode 1 of The Good Fight were sedate enough for the courtroom and a funeral yet glamorous enough to make a statement.
I counted seven strands with the pearls varying in sizes. And if the necklace is not enough to make a commanding presence, the oversized mabe pearl ring and earrings just complete her look and proclaims, “I am rich and successful but I have good taste too.”
Mabe pearls? What are mabe pearls? Pearls normally grow in the tissue of a mollusk and they often spherical although rarely perfectly spherical. Sometimes, though, a pearl grows against the inside of the mollusk’s shell rather than in the tissue. When this happens, the shape of the pearl is a half sphere and, commercially, it is called a mabe pearl and occasionally referred to as a blister pearl. Just like spherical pearls, mabe pearls come in varying sizes and colors. The ones in Diane’s earrings and ring are large ones.
Even if you’re not obsessed with jewelry (I am, a legacy from my mother), you probably know that pearls are either saltwater or freshwater, natural or cultured. Natural pearls grow without human intervention while a cultured pearl forms after the mollusk shell is pried open to insert an “irritant” around which a pearl can grow.
Whether natural or cultured, no one has any control over how small or how large a pearl will be by the time the mollusk shell is opened. Neither can the quality (in terms of luster, lack of surface flaw and symmetry) be dictated. That’s why strands made with pearls of uniform size and color like the bracelet worn by Liz Lawrence (Audra McDonald), also in Season 2 Episode 1 of The Good Fight, command such high prices. I also noticed the ring which appears to have a white opal (or, perhaps, a moonstone) held in place by a wide diamond-encrusted band.
You probably also know that not all pearls are white or off-white. They can be pink, blue, green, purple and, yes, black. Black pearls have become popular over the last few decades.
Also in Season 2 Episode 1 of The Good Fight, Renée (Jayne Houdyshell) wears a three-strand black pearl necklace and matching mabe pearl earrings. The character’s a real bitch but, being a successful lawyer like Diane, she has nice pearls to flaunt too.