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Pelosi's Power Pearls

Jackie wore fakes that charmed her children -- and that ultimately sold at auction for $211,500.

Barbara Bush wore fakes to hide her neck wrinkles -- courtesy of star costume jewlery designer Kenneth Jay Lane.

Nancy Pelosi sworn in 4 January 2007Now another important woman in Washington has made pearls her signature -- only this time, they're real. 

Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, apparently shares my weakness for South Sea pearls, including the champage strand that she wore with a plum suit for her swearing-in.  It seems that with real power comes real jewelry (even if the ornament of choice for women in politics is soft, round, and usually pale -- but that's an analysis for another day).

Of course, if you're still working your way up to that kind of authority, tips for sourcing pearls of much better price abound -- real or fake.  Then again, authenticity -- like authority -- may be relative