How Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider's pearls have taken on a meaning of their own

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Champion Amy Schneider
Champion Amy Schneider Jeopardy!/Screenshot.

While entertaining the nation with her recently-ended but record-breaking run, newfound Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider and her signature necklace-clad look also managed to revive viewers' interest in pearls — even (perhaps unintentionally) building the jewelry a meaning of its own, The Wall Street Journal reports.

For one thing, jewelers actually noticed a "signficant uptick in demand" for pearls following Schneider's first appearance on Nov. 17, writes the Journal. One jewelry store in Austin, Texas, said it sold "four times as much pearl jewelry between mid-November and the end of January as it did during the same period last year," while a New York City-based store "saw an 18 percent increase in pearl sales during that time."

And perhaps that had to do with fan response to Schneider's choice of accessory. One viewer, Allison Brochu, said her old pearl necklace now makes her "feel fancy" and "a little smarter."

"Like maybe I'm as smart as Amy when I'm doing things at work," she added.

Three-year-old Audrey had a similar reaction, the Journal reports. Every night, before the show started, the toddler would put on her plastic pearls so she could "be like Amy," according to her father, Matthew Kortjohn.

And for Anaheim Ducks organist Lindsay Imber, her new, Amazon-purchased string of imitation pearls have helped her feel connected, especially after seeing them on a transgender woman like Schneider, the Journal reports.

"The pearls look great, of course, but as much as it is a fashion accessory it also has so much more meaning, for me at least, in that it represents this concept of belonging and love," she said. "It's totally repurposing a very established item and queerifying it." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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