When considering pearl jewellery for your partner, it is essential to have an understanding of the various elements that contribute to a pearls quality. Unlike diamonds and other gemstones, pearls have a unique grading standard and are often at risk of imitations, which frequent the jewellery market.
We have identified the five most important considerations to keep in mind when searching for the perfect pearl jewellery.
Shape is vital when it comes to determining the quality of a pearl. As pearls are natural organic gemstones, they can grow in a wide variety of shapes dependent on a number of factors that occur whilst they are developing.
Pearls shapes are broadly divided across three categories – spherical, symmetrical and baroque. Generally speaking, the more symmetrical and round the pearl is, the more rare and valuable it will be. Whilst baroque shaped pearls are both irregular and unsymmetrical in shape, they can still be very intriguing and unique and therefore highly desirable.
Pearls can take an extensive period of time to grow; the Australian South Sea Pearl takes between 2-3 years to reach its full potential, therefore it’s not surprising that the bigger the pearl, the more expensive.
Despite this, the correlation between a pearl’s size and its value is largely dependant on whether or not it is in proportion. Keep in mind that two pearls of different sizes may be valued the same if the smaller pearl is more in proportion.
No two pearls are the same; the beauty of these natural wonders is that each comes with its own characteristics and every surface is completely unique. The more pristine the pearls surface, the more valuable the pearl is. Keep an eye out for certain characteristics present on the pearls surface that may impact it’s value, such as any chips, gaps, abrasions, spots, bumps or wrinkles.
The ‘lustre’ of a pearl refers to its ability to divert light. By simply observing a pearl from different angles it will allow you to see how bright the rainbow reflections shine. The higher the pearls lustre, the higher the value. Be sure to tilt your pearl in to the light to witness the incredible reflections.
Natural pearls are becoming increasingly rare, with an estimated 1 in 10,000 wild oysters growing a pearl. Of these, South Sea Pearls are the rarest of them all, due to their large size, limited culturing area and extended growth period. These incredible pearls make up a relatively scarce percentage of the world’s pearls as they are found and not farmed. Tahitian Pearls are considered to be the second most valuable commercially farmed pearls in the world.