Oohs and aahs may be audible from outside Trios' Studio from March 17 through the end of the month during the jewelry store's annual 'Pearls of the World' exhibit and sale. Trios' Studio designers have created a variety of pieces to showcase the history of pearls and pearl fashion.

'We have designed a unique collection of styles that pays homage to iconic pearl fashion while giving today's woman the most exciting pearl creations available,' said co-owner Deborah Spencer.

A kickoff party for the exhibit will be March 17 from noon to 5 p.m. Refreshments, including chocolate martinis, will be served.

'This will be a unique opportunity to learn about pearls in an intimate and fun way that few people ever get the chance to experience,' said public relations/sales associate Nici Grigg. She said the event will feature unusual information about pearls from the Sea of Cortez, the first black pearls discovered in Western civilization.

She said when these rainbow/dark gray pearls were first discovered, people didn't know what to do with them.

'The only pearls they knew about were bright white and round or drop shaped,' Grigg said. But trendsetters such as Marie Antoinette were soon seen wearing them, and the popularity of the black pearls was set.

Information about fair trade pearls and gems will also be shared. Grigg said many customers want to buy jewelry that is certified Fair Trade, meaning the gems or pearls are gathered using methods that protect the rights of the workers, pay a fair wage, protect the earth and respect the culture and community. Trios' Studio tries to give its customers the option of buying fair trade products.

'These are definitely not your mother's pearls,' said Mary Wong, co-owner. 'The world of pearls has expanded so much; there are new types, rainbows of colors and choices in shape that inspire our designs. We often combine pearls with natural gemstone beads and gold and silver elements to create impact and versatility.'

Trios' Studio specializes in custom design, restyling of family jewelry and jewelry repair. It is located in the Oswego Town Square, 3 Monroe Parkway, suite 1. The phone number is 503-496-1285.

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