Pearl shopping can be an overwhelming task because its price tag differs significantly, so it becomes hard to identify if you are purchasing a real high-quality gem. First time buyer can choose affordable freshwater cultured pearls, whereas collectors can opt for investment grade gold or white South Sea ones. It is crucial to know that you get what you pay for.
Get to know pearl varieties
Majority of investment quality pearl will have a round shape because they are created in specific oyster type and have thick nacre. Three main pearl types are –
- Akoya [Japanese and Chinese]
- South Sea [Tahitian, Golden and White]
Pearl types will depend on where it is applied. For example, Japanese Akoya is suitable for high end pearl engagement rings and synthetic ones are suitable for costume jewelry.
Learn to identify pearl quality and value
After selecting the kind of pearl check the grading – AAA, AA, A+ and A. the grading will be based on several factors like –
- Environment – saltwater or freshwater
- Mollusk that created
- Treated or untreated
- Shape – Round, near round, oval, button, drop baroque, semi-baroque, circled, bar or cross
- Color – White, cream, pinkish, golden, bluish, black, greenish, yellowish, silver, aubergine, peacock
- Luster – Excellent, very good, good, fair and poor
- Surface – Clean, lightly spotted, moderately spotted, and heavily blemished
- Nacre quality – Acceptable, nucleus visible and chalky appearance
- Matching – This is judged by consistency of all the above factors.
How to tell the pearl is authentic?
- Real pearls have tiny blemishes or anomalies in shape, whereas fake ones are always perfect.
- Luster means light reflected from the pearl. Good quality pearls will have clear and bright luster making them shine when the lights hit them.
- Good quality pearls show subtle colors on the outer surface from the deep layers. Ivory and rose are most desire overtones.
- The drill holes of real pearls will have well-defined edges and fake ones have rounded or rough edge.
Explore the jewelry store online, where you will browse through variety of affordable and engagement rings with white or Tahitian pearl.