How to choose pearls

Pearls have been used as jewelry for centuries. Pearls were known to be a rarity, so they were the property of the very rich and aristocracy. Pearls are considered feminine jewelry, perhaps because the shape of the mollusk, inside which the pearl grows, resembles the female genitals. Time goes on, cultured pearls are on sale now, but this gem is still a symbol of luxury, prestige and good taste.


  1. Creating a pearl
  2. Variety of types of pearls
  3. Color, sparkle, beauty
  4. More pearls, bigger size
  5. How to Distinguish the Natural

Creating a pearl

Creating a pearl

Natural pearls are a formation that occurs during the life of sea and river mollusks. If a foreign body (a grain of sand, a piece of shell, etc.) falls into the shell.p.), the mollusk starts to envelop it in nacre, and after a while the pearl is formed. Natural pearls are rare and their extraction is dangerous, which is why they are valued so highly that they are auctioned.

Contemporary jewelers mostly work with cultured sea pearls, which first made a name for themselves in the early 20th century. Pearl growing originated in Japan and is widespread wherever the conditions are right. According to the technology an oyster or a mussel is implanted with a bead or a particle of nacre, and after 18-24 months the pearl grows in the shell. These pearls have very few differences from their natural counterparts.

People have been aware of cultured pearls for a long time. They are obtained by applying various compositions to a bead of porcelain, glass, or plastic. Originally the artificial counterpart of the jewel was made from a glass ball filled with paraffin (t.n. “Roman Pearls) or coated them with a substance based on fish scales to get a pearlescent sheen. Contemporary technology makes it possible to produce cultured pearls, which are indistinguishable from natural ones in appearance.

Variety of pearls

Variety of types of pearls

The general pattern of pearl types is as follows:
Natural,pearls are divided into several groups:

  1. Natural saltwater pearls (they are mined in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, off the coast of Japan and Australia);
  2. Natural river pearls (they are mined in China, Russia and Germany);
  3. Cultivated (by technology);
  4. Cultivated without standards (sold in the resorts of India, Thailand and China);

Artificial, There are two kinds of cultured pearls, high quality (e.g. Majorika pearls) and plain (costume jewellery). Not related to jewelry.

All types of pearls vary in their value. Thus, pearls from the South Sea are considered to be the most valuable of the cultured variety. Black pearls from Tahiti are unique because of the unusually thick layer of nacre. The smallest size of sea pearl, Keshi, has a low price. Freshwater pearls are less valuable than saltwater pearls, although they possess luster and durability.

Color, luster, beauty

Color, shine, beauty

Since today’s market is literally flooded with pearls, it is necessary to learn how to distinguish fake from real quality pearls. This test is usually carried out according to several parameters:

  1. luster and color;
  2. nacre quality;
  3. shape and size.

Natural pearls are easy to identify by their luster. The natural pearl shimmers and shines from within. If these pearls are of high quality, it is possible to notice the difference between the bright part of them and the shaded part. The result is the visual illusion of a ball inside the pearl

Natural pearls have different colors, the palette has about 120 shades. Among the expensive pieces are pearls in black and white, bronze, green, silver, cream, gold, purple shades. The color the pearl acquires depends on the variety of the mussel, the place of cultivation, and the age of the pearl (degree of maturity). Pink and blue stones are considered the rarest and most expensive.

Larger nacre; larger size

More nacre, larger in size

The quality of a pearl directly depends on the thickness of the nacreous layer. This attribute has a major influence on the price of a piece. Another important factor in determining the quality of a pearl is the state of its surface; how smooth and evenly colored it is. The presence of chips, dents, spots, and other damage greatly diminishes the value of a pearl.

Pearls can be shaped like this:

  1. round ones (most often);
  2. spherical;
  3. Drop-shaped pearls;
  4. fancy shapes (“baroque”);
  5. They resemble the silhouettes of animals or different objects(have a separate name: paragons). These stones are believed to be endowed with special mystical properties and to be natural talismans. The paragons are most often framed in gold.

The shape of pearls is best viewed against a black background; then any imperfections will be more visible. In a high-quality finished item, all pearls must be the same size and lie flat. The holes must be in the center.

As for size, it is quite simple; the bigger the pearl, the higher the price. The size is determined by the diameter; it is counted in millimeters. A freshwater pearl as a smaller one would usually be in the 3-11 mm size range, but a nautical pearl may be as big as 22 mm.

For jewelry cases it is customary to determine the weight of large pearls in grains or carats. Fine pearls are called grain pearls; they are sold by weight. Large pearls are very rare. The largest pearl was discovered in 1934 near the Philippines. This miracle of nature weighs 6.35 kilograms and looks like a head in a turban, so it is called the Pearl of Allah. Large elite pearls are usually included in the state’s register of currency reserves along with other precious stones.

How to choose natural pearls

How to tell the difference between a natural pearl and a real one?

In order not to make a wrong choice, one should check the pearls offered. The tests are easy, but in the end you will be sure that you are buying real pearls.

You can drop a pearl on a smooth surface of sufficient hardness from a height of about half a meter. Natural pearls, unlike synthetic pearls, will bounce.

If you have a chance to look through the pearl in the sun, you may notice that the natural one will glow blue, but the cultured one will glow green. The proof that you have a cultured specimen in your hands is provided by irregular holes with chipped.

One may simply hold a pearl in one’s hand. If it feels cool, it means it is a natural pearl. If you rub two pearls against each other, a light dust arises, which serves as evidence of the natural origin of the items.

An original way to determine the genuineness is to trace a strip with a pearl across the surface of one’s tooth. Real pearls have microscopic roughness, so it will squeak.

Affordable luxury

The cost of pearl jewelry in the end depends on many factors, from its origin and size to shape and surface quality. So you can choose a product that is completely suitable for you in terms of price, appearance and quality. Buy and wear with pleasure, because they say that the stone is alive and in the box can bore and die. Try not to let this happen, let pearls regularly show themselves and adorn your pretty image.

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