Now, we’re going to bring you up to speed on the 7 Value Factors you will need to know when looking for the best pearls at the best price. Just as diamond shoppers use the “Four C’s” to evaluate stones, pearl shoppers should keep in mind these seven factors that follow. We’ll explain the relative importance of each when it comes to price, and how these value factors relate to each of the four species of pearls you’ve learned about already. Understand the section below, and your Kung-Fu will be strong! You will know more than many long-time jewelers know about pearls. If you happen to be a jeweler reading this guide, I really hope you will absorb and share it freely with your clients so that everyone benefits!
The 7 Value Factors – What to Look For
We have already introduced luster, the most important subjective factor in choosing pearls. Below are all seven factors in relative order of importance. We will describe each in turn. Afterwards, we will discuss these factors for each pearl species.
Pearl Jewellery Online : Wanna know a Secret about most Jewelry Stores?
Pearl Jewellery Online : While we’re at it, do you want to know another little secret? Many jewelry stores may claim to follow a grading system for pearls but, unlike diamonds, pearls really do not have a standard grading system.
Surprised? While there are key factors that contribute to the value of a pearl which you will learn shortly – in the real world these are often judged subjectively through experience.
So, it’s important that you always ask the pearl vendor how they determine the grade. If they can’t tell you, that not a good sign! – tags : pearl jewellery online Quick Review
Just to review: so far, we’ve briefly introduced the four major types or “species”of pearls you’re likely to see in the marketplace, and mentioned the importance of luster as a pearl value factor. – tags : pearl jewellery online
South Sea Pearls (White and Golden)
Akoya Cultured Pearls
Tahitian Black Pearls
This list is roughly in ascending order of price, with Freshwater pearls tending to be the least costly and South Sea pearls tending to be the most expensive. However, this is a *very general rule*. The truth is that it is really the 7 Value Factors, discussed next, which determine how
much an individual pearl or pearl strand is worth. – tags : pearl jewellery online
As we’re sure you want to get started looking at pearls right away, remember that the number one factor determining a pearl’s value is its luster. This is the pearl’s inner glow, the reflection you observe on the surface of the pearl.
The importance of good luster in a pearl cannot be underestimated! In a pearl with better luster, you should be able to see the reflection of your finger clearly as you move it closer to the pearl.
An easy way to choose luster is to compare two pearls of different prices side-by-side using your finger’s reflection as a guide. If the reflections are fuzzy, move on… don’t spend your money wearing a lackluster pearl around town! Those who know pearls will notice (and you did intend to show your pearls off, right?)
Using this suggestion alone will save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars! The pictures below show increasing luster from left to right. Notice the spot of light appears “tighter” and most distinct on the rightmost image.
The Four Main Types of Pearls… and how much you should pay for each!
As you may already know, there are four major kinds of cultured pearls. Each type comes from a particular species of mollusk (an oyster or mussel), and the value of each varies considerably.
In the next section of this guide, you will learn more about each of them, especially judging value, but let’s start with an overview of the different pearl types:
1. South Sea Pearls South
Sea Pearls are the biggest and most valuable of all pearls, and come in two varieties: White and Golden. White South Sea Pearls are mostly grown in the waters off Australia and are the largest pearls on record. But the most valuable pearls in the world are the rare Golden South Sea Pearls, which come from the waters off Indonesia and the Philippines; most people have never even heard of Golden pearls, let alone held one up close.
2. Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater Pearls are generally the least expensive and the most common variety of pearl. This variety is cultivated in vast quantities in freshwater lakes, mostly in China and the United States. They often appear in pink or pastel colors, but are very commonly dyed to any color. You’ll see this variety sold in malls and your local Costco.
3. Akoya Cultured Pearls
Akoya Cultured Pearls were the first pearl variety to be cultivated commercially at the beginning of the 1900’s in Japan by Mikimoto and others. In general, the Akoya Pearl is considered a “step above” freshwater pearls in quality. This is the pearl type that often what comes to mind when someone mentions the word “pearl”: small, white, and shiny.
4. Tahitian Black Pearls
Tahitian Black Pearls might be called the “rock stars” of the pearl world, at least in terms of popularity! Actually, black is a misnomer since Tahitian pearls come in many hues of greens, blues, browns, and grays. While no one color is really“best” or most valuable, except in terms of personal preferences, green “peacock” shades are quite popular. Grown in Tahiti (French Polynesia) these pearls come much bigger than Akoyas and Freshwater pearls, and tend to cost more. (While Tahitian Pearls are sometimes referred to as “South Sea Pearls”, for the sake of clarity, we’ll treat them separately in this web guide.)
In this web guide, you will learn more about what to look for when shopping for each pearl
specific type, so that you know that you are in charge during your shopping process!
Golden South Sea pearl are made up of layers of sumptuous natural pearl nacre and require the same care as you would give your finest silk gown.
Golden South Sea pearl love to be worn and take on the warmth and glow of the wearer’s skin. However, the following tips will ensure that your Golden South Sea pearl keep on looking and feeling wonderful to wear.
Put pearls on after applying makeup, perfume and hairspray.
Don’t allow pearls to rub against more abrasive jewellery.
Wipe pearls gently with a soft cloth occasionally before putting away.
Never store pearls with other pieces of jewellery. Keep them wrapped in a soft cloth.
Have pearl strands re-strung by a reliable jeweler every year or two depending on how often they are worn.
To clean pearls rub them with a cloth dipped in a well diluted mix of alcohol and warm water or in a weak solution of soap and water. Then dip the cloth in clean water and rub this over the pearls, finally dry with a clean cloth. Never leave pearls wet.
Finally Golden South Sea pearl are remarkably resilient and should be worn and enjoyed every day.
It is a combination of five “virtues” that should be looked for when buying a pearl: luster, size, shape, color and complexion.
The luster of the pearl is what gives the pearl its iridescence and its depth. Luster is created by nacre, and varies with the fineness of the nacre. It is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when buying a pearl. The luster of a pearl should always be bright, never dull. Without luster it does not matter how big or how perfect its shape or what its color is – it is the luster that makes a pearl a gem quality pearl. Golden South Sea pearl have a thick, creamy nacre and are noted for their rich, silky luster.
The shape of the pearl is also important. Perfectly round and teardrop shapes are extremely rare and therefore highly sought after; this does not mean that other shapes do not have their own unique charm and value. Baroque pearls, for instance, are one of the most popular shapes because of their uniqueness, size and casual character. White South Sea cultured pearls come in many shapes including round, semi round, circle, oval, baroque, drop and with many variations, each one unique.
Other points that are to be considered when choosing a pearl include the complexion of the pearl or “skin”. These pearls are produced by nature and therefore will have their natural flaws, however the more flawless the surface of the pearl, the greater the value.
WHAT DO I LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SOUTH SEA PEARL?
The size of the pearl is also reflected in the price – the Golden South Sea pearl being the largest rarest pearl of all.
The final point to consider is the color. From luminescent white to sparkling gold’s, the stunning range of the Golden South Sea pearl must be seen to be believed and premium prices are paid for pearls displaying unusually beautiful orients of colored overtones such as white pink, silver pink and deep gold.
WHY ARE THE SOUTH SEA PEARL PRICES SO DIFFERENT?
The Golden South Sea pearl is the only pearl whose qualities are identical to the natural pearls of old. As such they must be evaluated by the same criteria as natural pearls. As with natural pearls, South Sea pearl are created in a wide range of qualities. The quality of the nacre is paramount. Quality of nacre can only be dictated by the mother shell and nature herself.
It is the quality of the nacre that determines the beauty or luster of the pearl. Regardless of whether a pearl is natural or cultivated, the finest quality nacre is extremely rare and pearls of this nacre are very valuable. The value of a particular Golden South Sea pearl ultimately depends on the fineness of its nacre. Size has a bearing on value as fine quality nacre becomes rarer in the larger size pearls. Shape and color also have a bearing on value but these two factors are mainly “fashion” or “preference” driven.
WHAT MAKES SOUTH SEA PEARL THAT SHAPE?
Golden South Sea pearl are cultivated pearls that are only helped by man in the sense that man provides them with the best and purest environment in which to grow. Once the shell has been seeded with a small round nucleus made of mother of pearl, the oyster shell is left to do what it does best – produce stunning pearl nacre and lots of it.
As a result the shapes and sizes of the pearls are all different and formed entirely by nature herself. Some emerge perfectly round, some teardrop shaped, some semi-round, some baroque shaped – each one different, each one unique. That is the beauty of the pearl that sets it apart from other gems that are cut and shaped by man. As a result a perfect pearl strand can take years to complete. To find the perfect pearl to make up the strand is no easy task.
Nothing! Golden South Sea pearl are natural in color. The name “Golden South Sea pearl” is actually a misnomer. Golden South Sea pearl is the name given to the pearl made by the Pinctada maxima shell, which is Golden. However although the shell is gold, South Sea pearl can be many shades of color. The shade can vary enormously from the warmer white-pink tones through to silver tones and finally to a truly golden hue. Each shade from the stunning range available has its own appeal and is a matter of personal taste.