Pearls are the magnificent creation of nature. They are one of the most precious gemstones throughout history. Everything about pearls is fascinating, starting from their process of formation and never ending with the significant amount of beauty they add to any lady's style. Such great stones require a lot of caution when selecting one to buy, but don't panic because even the steps you need to take to find the perfect pearl are enjoyable.
Before you read further, here is an outline of what you shall learn after reading this article.
It is easy to pick the prettiest pearl out of a bunch, but beauty is not the only factor you should depend on, you also need to consider the quality of a pearl according to:
All pearls grow inside an oyster. The process begins when a small grain of sand or a piece of shell is placed inside an oyster. Then the oyster starts producing a glossy substance called "nacre" that coats the sand grain. Over time, layers of nacre pile up to form charming pearls. Naturally, this process happens deep in ocean waters, but it can be done in a laboratory, too. Therefore, there are two types of pearls according to growth, natural and cultured.
The location of growth indicates the type of ocean or sea in which the pearl was grown.
These two types of pearls are similar with slight differences.
This type is named after the "Akoya" oysters of Japan. Akoya pearls are the best example of classic pearls.
Black pearls grow in black oysters on the coast of Tahiti.
South sea gold pearls are the rarest type among all the varieties in the south sea; they only exist in the gold oysters around the shores of Tahiti and the neighboring tropical regions.
This type of pearls grows in the rare rainbow oysters at the coast of the Cortez sea in Mexico.
Conch pearls are not traditional because they are not formed of nacre; they grow inside a conch shell. Conches are large shells in spiral shapes that exist in the Caribbean and the South Pacific Seas.
All pearls are beautiful; this is a satisfying fact, but it is also the reason for confusion when buying a pearl. Fortunately, some factors can guide you in making the right choice.
Color is the first thing that anyone would notice about a pearl. Pearls colors vary according to the type you choose, but you have to keep in mind two things: the body color and the tone color. The body color is the main color of a pearl, while the tone color is the pearls sheen, i.e., the color that floats on its surface. For example, a pearl could be white with shades of gold, or black with tones of green.
Tips for Examining Pearls Colors
Luster refers to how shiny and reflective a pearl is; the more brilliant it is, the higher its price gets. Pearls of high luster can mirror your reflection if you look closely. A pearl's ability to provide high mirroring is a sign of high value.
Tips for Examining Pearls Luster
Each pearl has minor surface imperfections; there might be some small marks, lumps, or curves. These imperfections are the result of some other foreign bodies that existed inside the oyster that brushed against the pearl during the formation process.
Tips for Examining Pearls' Surface Perfection
Logically, the larger a pearl, the more valuable it is, because it is rarer. Large pearls are the result of big grains of sand, and the period it is left to cure inside the oyster. The typical size of pearls varies between 3 mm to 12 mm; of course, you may find smaller or larger sizes. The main tip for examining the size is to check if all the pearls in a strand are the same size, or at least very close.
There is a wide variety of pearl shapes; round ones are the most valuable because they are harder to form. However, the shape of a pearl is always a matter of personal preferences. The most common shapes of pearls are:
The nacre is the substance that an oyster excretes to produce pearls by covering the central object. The longer a pearl spends time within the oyster, the more layer of nacre it gains. Consequently, high-nacre pearls are more desired than low-nacre ones. You can find out that the nacre layer is thin if you can see the central nucleus reflection through it, and if you can scratch away the exterior easily.
After completing the process of choosing a pearl carefully, you will have to take another essential step, which is making sure that the pearl is real. Always remember that both natural and cultured pearls are genuine, and the only difference is that cultured pearls are formed with an intervention of humans. Still, the process of formation is entirely the same.
There are many ways to spot whether a pearl is real or fake:
When pearls are mentioned, we all think of the beautiful milky-white spheres; it is almost like the word "pearl" has become a synonym for the white color because white pearls are the most popular. Although pearls are available in nearly all colors, the most valuable and expensive type in the market is the south sea pearls, which are mainly white with golden overtones. Every lady deserves to own a collection of pearls; their aesthetic value has been praised for many centuries. So the next time you buy a pearl, take your time to choose the right one that you will love to wear forever.