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The symbolism of Kamala Harris' pearl necklace

The senator has a penchant for pearls.
Pearls have been a staple for Sen. Kamala Harris for years.
Pearls have been a staple for Sen. Kamala Harris for years.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Next time you see Sen. Kamala Harris on the campaign trail, pay close attention to her accessories.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee is quite fond of pearls, and the delicate gem has become her signature accessory over the years.

The senator often wears a double-strand pearl necklace for special occasions, like when Joe Biden officially made her his running mate in August.

Are diamonds really a girl's best friend? Harris seems to prefer pearls.Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

At a press conference in Delaware the same month, Harris paired her blue suit and white blouse with the same necklace.

She's definitely loyal to this classy look.Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

She also sported the style at several public appearances in 2019, like when she spoke at the Des Moines Register Iowa presidential candidate forum.

democratic presidential candidates Attend AARP Candidate Forums In Iowa
Kamala Harris has a penchant for pearls.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

This is hardly the first time that a politician has developed a penchant for pearls, but Harris' love of the classy gem seems to date back many years.

When she was a student at Howard University, Harris was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which refers to itself as "the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women."

The group fondly calls its founders and incorporators the "Twenty Pearls," and it's clear that the gem has special meaning for its members.

"A Pearl is defined as a precious thing; the finest example of something," the group wrote on Facebook in 2017. "Pearls are often displayed to show their value and handled in a way that reflects their precious nature. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its more than 290,000 members worldwide are pearls."

When she graduated from the university in 1986, Harris sported a single-strand pearl necklace and matching earrings for the occasion.

Over time, pearls became a defining accessory for Harris, who has regularly worn them on the job.

Kamala Harris, District Attorney for San Francisco, stands for a portrait in her Hall of Justice office on Tuesday April 28, 2009 in San Francisco, Calif.
You have to admit it: Pearls are definitely a timeless accessory.Mike Kepka / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The senator tends to gravitate toward classic white pearls but has been known to switch things up on occasion.

Sen. Kamala Harris Speaks At Her Alma Mater Howard University
The senator opts for a darker pearl from time to time.Al Drago / Getty Images

She has sometimes donned a black pearl necklace for various events through the years.