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The Ultimate Pearl-Buying Guide

The Ultimate Pearl-Buying Guide

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The Ultimate Pearl-Buying Guide

Purchasing pearls is a tricky affair. Whether you’re buying them from a store or online, there’s always a rogue jeweler waiting to take advantage of you. It’s even worse when you’re encountering pearls for the first time. Like other gems, you can avoid the pearl buying pitfalls. These factors will guide your pearl purchases.

  1. Color

Color determines the pearl’s value, with rare shades like blue topping the list. There are many choices for pearl hues. They include:

  • White
  • Gold
  • Black
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Multi-color

While white and ivory pearls flatter all skin tones, gold and champagne ornaments suit dark and light complexions, respectively. Remember, you can treat the pearl to enhance its color. For example, pinking creates a rosy overtone to meet this shade’s demand. On the other hand, irradiating uses gamma rays to darken the jewel’s nucleus and nacre layers.

Likewise, polishing involves cleaning the pearl in a saline mixture and whitening it with bleach.  Another strategy is dyeing, which entails submerging the pearl in color. This is especially true for blue and black shades. Though color enhancement is legal, pearls with natural colors fetch higher prices. Other value factors include depth and saturation.

  1. Size

Jewel measurements depend on factors like nucleus size, mollusk vitality, and time underwater. Although large pearls suit necklaces, they may not be ideal for earrings based on wearability. 

Necklace lengths also come into play. While long rope necklaces go well with small pearls, large ones are excellent for chokers. Additionally, putting large pearls on rings renders them bulky and uncomfortable. Although large pearls are expensive, size doesn’t translate to value. Small perfectly-rounded ones might cost more than oval pearls twice their size. Even so, large pearls remain luxurious and make a statement.

  1. Shape

Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and command the highest prices. But despite roundness, you want a smooth, symmetrical look. That’s why drop-shaped pearls are also desirable. Baroques may cost less, but their uniqueness makes them highly collectible. These pearls take the following shapes:

  • Round: Its classic appeal and rarity explain why this shape is sought after. Although most are nucleated with round beads, only a few become round.
  • Near Round: These miss a round form because of slight and definitive deviations. It’s not uncommon to mistake them for perfectly-round shapes, especially when placed on necklaces. They offer the round-pearl look without the hefty price tag.
  • Button Shapes: They have domed tops and flat bottoms. Thanks to their level bases, these shapes are perfect for earrings since they don’t hurt the lobe.

  • Drop Shapes: They’re asymmetrical and resemble teardrops. Were it not for their noticeably thin ends; you would confuse these with ovals. Varieties with perfect pear appearances are valuable, particularly large sizes.
  • Baroque: From pebble to off-round shapes, these present irregular forms. High orient and luster amounts are a result of nacre imbalances. This explains the thick spots. Because of features like tips and knobs, you’ll rarely find two identical baroques.
  • Circled Baroque: Though their shapes are irregular, these pearls’ surfaces feature circles. Ordinarily, pearls have high luster and color-banding concentrations.

Rock Those Pearls

From showcasing your personality to complementing garment colors and increasing your confidence, pearls present numerous benefits. If you'd like more information about pearls, out gemologists can assist you. Contact us today to learn more.