Types of Pearls
Cultured primarily in the rivers and lakes of China, these pearls come in a variety of pastel shades and have an average size of 6mm. This is this most affordable variety of pearl.
Typically larger than the freshwater, these saltwater pearls are cultured in the Akoya oysters of Japan. Akoyas range in size from 3-10mm. These pearls are classic and conservative.
Cultured in the oceans of Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines, these pearls are typically larger than 10mm. Their color is determined by the oyster which grows them, the silver lipped oyster producing the white variety and the golden lipped oyster producing the golden south sea pearl.
The most distinctive variety of pearl is grown in the black lipped oysters of Tahiti. They come in a wide variety of hues and sizes ranging from 8-18mm. Tahitians are a great way to stand out from the crowd.
Qualities of Pearls
Similar to the 4 C’s of diamonds, there are certain factors that determine the quality of pearls.
Luster:The luster refers to the reflective glow of the pearl’s nacre.
Surface:The most desirable pearls have few surface imperfections
Color:While the color range is a personal preference, how evenly distributed the color is, and the richness of the color hue are important to the quality of the pearl.
Shape:Perfectly round pearls are the most rare and usually the most desired shape of pearl. However, the baroque style is desired by those looking for something more unique.
Size: The size of the pearl is determined by how long the mollusk coated the pearl with nacre. Pearls are measured in millimeters and the size can greatly affect the price.