About Pearl

How to measure the quality of pearls?

The quality, and the value of a pearl is measured after taking in to consideration a combination of several different factors; like the type of pearl, luster, surface, shape, color and size. Because the pearl is a naturally occurring organic gemstone, created by living creatures, these factors can, and do vary. Although all of them affect the ultimate value of a given pearl, some of the factors are more objective, while others are more a matter of taste or preference.

The type of pearl is perhaps the most basic factor to consider: whether the pearl is a freshwater pearl, an akoya pearl or a South Sea pearl. Each type of pearl is created by a different species of oyster, usually living in a different region of the world and under varying climatic conditions. Some types of pearls are rarer than others, increasing their value significantly for that reason alone.

Luster is the amount of light a pearl reflects. The luster of good quality pearls is sharp and bright. You should be able to see your reflection clearly on the surface of a pearl.

The appearance of the surface of the pearl is perhaps one of its most critical characteristics. The surface should be smooth and clean, without spots, discolorations, or other disfiguring characteristics. The cleaner the surface of the pearl, the more valuable it is; although tiny marks are part of a pearl's natural texture and proof of its genuine origin.

The shape of the pearl is one important area where value and personal taste may diverge. Perfectly round pearls are extremely rare, and therefore very expensive. However, pearls come in a wide variety of interesting and unique shapes, and you may find some of these shapes even more appropriate to your own taste and personality. Button pearls are slightly flattened into a disk-like "button" shape; drop pearls are teardrop-shaped; ringed pearls exhibit a series of concentric indentations or rings; and baroque pearls are abstract and asymmetrical. Many high-quality pearls can be found in these alternate shapes - often at lower prices than a perfectly round pearl of the same quality - and you may find the unique shape to be even more personally appealing and satisfying.

Pearls can be found in a vast range of colours such as white, silvery white, cream, pink, gray, golden, peach, mauve, black and many others. Colour is not an indication of quality. No one colour is better than another. However, some shades are more popular, and therefore more valued than others.

Size is a major factor in determining the price of a pearl. Generally the larger the pearl, the more rare it is and consequently the more valuable it is. A pearl's size is expressed in terms of its diameter, which is measured in millimeters. A small difference in size may raise the price significantly. Pearls can be smaller than 1 millimeter and as large as 20 mm and more.

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