Samira Sizdahkhani’s infamous pearl faces—baroque-shape South Sea pearls set with human-inspired gold components like teeth—were born around 2010, a period in which she had finished a stint with a pearl dealer and when she moved to Los Angeles. The founder of the Samira 13 jewelry brand was never a fan of pearls until she started learning about them, intrigued by the uniqueness of each one and their sometimes-odd shapes. And once she started carving and drilling into them, gluing diamond eyes in some, her anthropomorphist fantasy faces took shape. “They’re so soft and easy to work with,” she explains. “You can make a whole story on your neck!”
Some stories include a pearl husband or boyfriend or a pet, all given silly grins and sometimes, gold grills. Though she has help in making some of her jewelry, she makes all the faces herself, upwards of 30 in a year. The designs are a mix of her own visions and some requests. All faces are inspired by the look of the pearls. “Some pearls look like an alien or a ghost,” she maintains. And while none have hair, some have crowns. Someone once asked for a pirate-inspired pearl, so she slapped a patch on it.
Her own face pearls include a big Tahitian pearl with black gold accents that represents her husband, a small white pearl for herself, and two others with her daughter and son in mind. Her favorite activity? Personalizing pieces for clients. But before she takes on more requests, she has one special pearl to add to her own collection: a dog pearl for the pup named Mamba her family recently adopted.
Retail prices for South Sea and Tahitian pearls set in 18k gold start at $1,900, but she’ll soon add freshwater varieties to offer a lower price point.
Retail prices for Samira 13’s face pearls start at $1,900.
Journey to Australia
Paspaley’s Magesti jewelry collection celebrates the journey between Greece (from where the Paspaley family hails) and the rugged beauty of the Kimberley in Australia, the birthplace of Paspaley pearls. “It’s been 100 years since Nicholas Paspaley Senior arrived in Australia,” explains the brand.
The story of this voyage plays out across roughly three-dozen styles executed in 18k white and yellow gold with Paspaley’s own white South Sea pearls as well as rubies, pink opals, mother of pearl, turquoise, lapis, and sapphires. The collection reveals the story of an adventurer and family patriarch, reflecting the beauty of the Australian landscape.
“Megisti honors the ancient landscapes of the Kimberley, with its geometric designs taken from patterns carved into stone over millennia by natural forces,” continues the brand. “Paspaley is constantly inspired by the natural habitat around the areas in which our pearls come from, so our jewelry often has qualities that depict the raw beauty of our wild and tropical environment. Our jewelry literally bursts with life and luster.”
Megisti by Paspaley is available in eight Paspaley boutiques across Australia or on Paspaley.com. Suggested retail prices in Megisti start at $3,880.
Suggested retail prices for pieces in the Megisti by Paspaley collection start at $3,880.