Pearls are beautiful, and no woman should be without at least one piece of pearl jewelry in her collection. But, buying pearls can be difficult, because you need to make sure that you are getting the real thing and not some cheap imitation. You can find some of the most gorgeous pearl jewelry on the market today when you shop at PearlsOnly. First, let’s talk about pearls and get to know them better so you know exactly what to look for when you start shopping.
1. Cultured Pearls
Many people think that cultured pearls are not genuine pearls. They are, but not in the true sense of the world. These pearls are grown in pearl farming facilities, unlike pearls that people used to dive for. They are still natural, but the process is sped up in the farming process. The problem is, many different types of pearls, including Akoya, Freshwater, and Tahitian pearls, are all cultured, which can get confusing. This is a good reason to get to know the various types of pearls. After all, depending on the type, a strand of pearls can cost anywhere from $35 to more than $35,000.
These range in price from $60 to over $3,000. They are the classic pearls that are white and shiny, and are usually 5mm to 11mm in size, with the larger sizes being rarer. Akoya pearls are creamy or white in color, with a rose, cream, or ivory overtone. You can also get treated Akoya pearls that are black in color.
These pearls come from freshwater mussels and not oysters, and are mainly found in China. They come in many colors, including whites, pinks, lavender, plum, purple, tangerine, and even black. The most common size is 8mm.
These are found in the South Seas and come from the Black-Lipped oyster. They are the only truly black pearls, and are large, up to 16mm. In addition to black, you will find Tahitian pearls in gray, silver, green, blue, and purple.
2. How Pearls Are Valued
There are four main factors to look at when valuing pearls: shape; surface; luster; and size.
Shape – Shape is one of the biggest factors in valuing cultured pearls. The rounder they are, the more valuable they are. But, baroque and off-round pearls are pretty nice to look at too, so don’t discount them when you are buying pearl jewelry.
The smoother a pearl is, the higher the value. Because it is a natural gem, there is always going to be an imperfection of some sort, but they should be minor so no one notices the imperfections. Rub your teeth across the pearl. You should feel some roughness, but not much. If it is perfectly smooth, it is likely fake.
This is related to the surface. If the surface is rough, the pearl isn’t going to have much luster or shine. You will be able to tell a high quality pearl by its shine, because you can almost see yourself in it.
The last thing to consider when valuing pearls is the size, which is also important depending on the wearer. For instance, larger pearls are usually worn by adult women, while young girls wear smaller pearls. If you are buying pearl jewelry for an adult woman, look for pearls that are 7mm or larger.
3. Buying Tips
When buying pearl jewelry, be sure to only shop at stores that have good return policies. The jewelry may not look as good outside of the store, and you should be able to return it if you aren’t happy. Also, look for jewelers that specialize in pearls, and don’t worry about brand names, because many lesser known brands have amazing jewelry pieces.