By Reema Farooqui
Atlanta-based Jeremy Wallace’s interest in pearls piqued upon seeing an oyster-opening video on TikTok a few years ago. Further research into the lustrous gem
inspired Wallace’s own affinity for pearls and gave way to his online jewelry company, Trident Pearls, founded in 2022.
“Pearl is my thing because it’s the only gem that you can pull straight from an oyster, clean and set, and wear immediately without having to do any kind of processing,” enthuses Wallace. Wallace is a self-taught jeweler who works out of a home-based studio. He makes his own jewelry, drilling and setting pearls along the way, offering bespoke styles—including custom hair pieces with akoya pearls for a
wedding—as well as a permanent collection. Trident is also not Wallace’s first foray into the jewelry world; thirteen years ago, he helped his older daughter, then 13 years old, start her own fashion jewelry business. To day, she and Wallace’s other daughter help him design for Trident.
When Wallace wanted to learn more about pearls, he searched for a reputable and comprehensive online course on pearls and came across Pearls As One (PAO). As a student, he appreciated the breadth and depth of information provided by the course as well as the possibility to interact with instructors in the discussion section at the end of each chapter.
The course has also allowed Wallace to better educate his clients about the quality
and type of pearl jewelry they are buying. “With pearls there’s a story that’s different
from all the other gems,” observes Wallace.
How important are pearls in your job? What role do they play?
Pearls are an essential part of our business. The majority of our jewelry features pearls. At the beginning, I was making simple pieces like pearl cage pendants. Now we also offer a wider range of jewelry such as rings, earrings, and pendants as well as pearl body jewelry.
What is your favorite variety/type of pearl and why?
My favorite pearls by far are Tahitians. I love their colors and the luster they produce. They are the most exotic of all the different types of cultured pearls. The thing I love about Tahitian pearls is how they glow differently under different lights. I have a very special Tahitian pearl which I set in my gold-plated sterling silver Tahitian heart pendant. While it looks deep black in studio lighting, in sunlight the peacock overtones get really well illuminated. That pearl always reminds me of mood rings and how they shimmer differently at different points in time.
What pearl jewelry do you own and which piece do you wear most and why?
As a jewelry maker, and being male, I feel there is not much for men out there. I made a Tahitian bracelet that I wear often. I have to say it’s my favorite piece that I have made.
What is your favorite piece of pearl jewelry (it doesn’t need to be your own)?
For the moment my favorite jewelry piece is Queen Elizabeth II’s three-strand pearl
necklace, which was also worn by Princess Diana, and now Kate Middleton has
been seen wearing it. Three generations of women have worn it at formal events. On the surface, it’s a simple, classic, three strand pearl necklace with a small clasp.
But it has a lot of history behind it. With its bright luster, it hardly looks like it has
been worn. It may not be spectacular like a million-dollar diamond, but it always looks great and is very classy.
To you, what is the most iconic look in pearls?
To me the most iconic or classic look in pearls is a single strand necklace of white
akoyas. It’s a classy look that can be worn with anything, and it’s iconic enough
to never fade away.