How to Buy a Pearl
Different types of pearls have different grading systems.
There are 7 most important elements to grading a pearl for quality and price.
Size – Pearls come in all different sizes. The larger the pearl, the rarer and more valuable it is. The most popular size of a pearl resides somewhere from 8mm to the scarce 18mm.
Luster – Pearl luster is an intense glow emanating from within the pearl as a result of good nacre quality. High quality pearls have an intense, brilliant luster. To recognize finer luster, look at the clarity of images that are reflected in the pearl’s surface. The closer to a mirror image you see, the better the luster. Pearls with fine luster also seem to glow warmly from within.
Shape – The rounder a pearl is, the rarer it is. Some other shapes like Baroque are also quite popular.
Surface –Look at the surface of the pearl , the more flawless it is, the higher the pearl will be valued.
Color – Color has little influence on the actual value of a pearl, except in the case of popularity, or your personal taste. Traditionally, The rarest and most desired are the white “rose” colored pearls.
Weight – Pearls are usually measured in carats, grains, or momme.
Natural/cultured –Natural pearls, are formed naturally by free-range "wild" oysters. Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are formed inside a living oyster with human intervention.
There are also established systems of grading you can use when you are selecting a pearl at a jeweler:
The AAA-A System – This system uses a grading scale from AAA to A, with AAA being the highest grade.
The A-D System (Tahitian System) – grades pearls on a scale from A to D, with A being the highest, and anything below D being considered unacceptable for jewelry use.
How to Buy a Pearl|
Pearl Consumer Guide:
7 Questions to Ask When Buying Pearls
Are the pearls natural, cultured, or simulated?
What are the size of the pearls? The bigger the size, the pearl is more expensive.
What is the shape of the pearls? Pearl shape comes in round, off-round, three-quarter round, teardrop, or baroque. Usually the rounder the better, except that you have some special requirements.
Is the luster poor, fair, medium, high, very high, exceptionally high, or have orient?
Does the cleanliness of the pearl surface rank flawless, slight imperfections, or imperfect?
How well matched are the pearls?
Are there any grading system use for overall quality?