Pearls have been a symbol of grace, elegance, and beauty. They still are a popular choice for jewelry, be it, bracelets, pendants, rings, or earrings. In the world of jewelry, pearls are the most difficult of gemstones, so much so that even the professional jewelers often find it hard to dissect them. The identification of which type do the pearls belong in addition to understanding the grading scales as well as pearl value is a daunting job! Even the pearl farmers and pearl scientists struggle here, let alone the sellers.
Therefore, it is not at all a surprise that a million questions rise when it comes to pearl shopping due to the complexity. After all, there is a great deal of investment involved, even if it is just a pearl necklace!
Since you must be clear about what piece of jewelry(necklaces, earrings, full set) you are looking for, let’s try and carefully look into how you can choose the right pearl. Once you are through this, you can then very quickly move on to the design, budgeting, and the hunt for a reliable vendor.
Let’s get started with unraveling the secrets between their crystalline depts and master the art of evaluating pearls.
First and foremost, for you to be able to make the right decision, you must be well-versed regarding the types of pearls. There are five types of cultured pearls, namely, Akoya, Tahitian, Freshwater, White, and Golden South Seas, and Sea of Cortez pearls.
Grown in Pinctada saltwater oyster, these are the whitest pearl that every woman would like to have in their jewelry box. Speaking of this, the traditional Akoya is white but also includes shades of golden or silvery blue. They are round in shape with the most stunning look and comes in size range of 2.0-3.0mm in addition to 9.5-10.0mm. However, the latter is a rare sight.
These are from China and exhibit the most beautiful shades of a rainbow. To name a few, it includes typical pastel hues, such as peach, lavender, and pink. Moreover, they have some inspiring, unique sizes and shapes. From perfect rounds to baroque, freshwater pearl comes in all! Furthermore, it is way less expensive in comparison to the Akoya ones.
This one is the most famous of all! Tahitian pearls are naturally occurring cultured pearls in black color. Primarily, the range expands from pale dove grey, very dark charcoal grey, to jet black color. Tahitian gems reflect gorgeous overtones of peacock, green, in addition to blue-green, silver, alongside cherry and many more.
d) White and Golden South Seas
They are the largest and the most luxurious one! These are widely knowns as “Queen of Pearls” and comes in an exquisite color palette of golden and white colors. They shimmer eye-catching overtones such as Tahitian pearls. The perfectly round one is the most precious and rarest.
e) Sea of Cortez pearls
They have originated from Sea of Cortez, best known as the Gulf of California. These pearls are the rarest type in the whole world. Besides Tahitian, they are also naturally prevalent black pearls. However, the intense hue and overtone are what sets them apart from the Tahitian gems. Furthermore, it is a unique gift from mother nature, considering that it is the only kind that fluoresces under UV lighting.
To be able to purchase jewelry made of exquisite cultured pearls, it is imperative to set a budget starting from $100 to a minimum. Each bead has its price range, and just like any other gemstone, for jewelry making, expect the price to increase against an increment in the millimeter size. To put it in perspective, the cost of an Akoya pearl necklace of the size 7.0-7.5mm will differ by large to that of a 9.0-9.5mm. Also, for an idea, note that the price increase by 30-50% with upping each millimeter size.
To sum it up, the pricing depends on several factors. However, the one factor which rules it is the degree of the pearl’s rarity.
3. The pearl value factor
Some of the crucial factors you need to take into account are as follows:
A lot about pearls depends upon its quality of being lustrous. Well, the term refers to the way light reflects off a gem and is a factor that either makes or breaks the pearl. The sharp it is, the more value it enjoys.
b) Surface quality
The ones with the cleanest and smoothest surface are what you should purchase. It is because a pearl with multiple inclusions is less valuable. And, you wouldn’t want to make a choice which holds zero value, do you?
The larger pearls are more valuable, considering that the most perfectly shaped beads take a lot of years to form in an oyster.
Pearls are available in nearly every shade and hue. The value of the pearl, however, can be determined by evaluating whether the color is from mother nature, i.e., naturally occurring. In addition to this, saturation, depth, and rarity are other determinants.
On the other hand, it is essential to note that there is no international grading scale set to judge a pearl’s authenticity. It means that it is subjective and largely depends upon your vendor and his judging criteria.
4. Pearl necklace length
It is purely a matter of preference and of course, the occasion you are planning to purchase. Typically, there are five lengths, which include ‘choker’ (15-17 inches), ‘princess’ (17-19 inches), ‘matinee’ (20-24 inches), ‘opera’ (34-37 inches), and ‘rope’ (48-60).
In addition to preference and occasion, the length should vary as per the dress in question. Otherwise, the whole look can turn out to be a fashion faux pas.
We hope this comprehensive guide manages to solve half of your dilemma. Feel free to grab that purse of yours and go for your pearl hunting ride!