Pearl Guide

What Determines a Pearl's Value?

Pearls are precious gifts from the sea and are popular for their elegance and timeless appeal. A pearl is valued by it's characteristics of color, luster, size, shape, and surface. When it comes time to pick your next strand, our team is happy to help. Begin your search by learning about the different qualities of a pearl.


The color of a pearl is a combination of body color and overtone; the term "white-rose," for example, describes a white pearl with a rosy-colored hue.


Luster is the most important factor of a pearl as it refers to the surface of the gem. A smooth pearl without blemishes is more valuable than one with ridges and bumps.


Size is determined by diameter and expressed in millimeters. A pearl's size doesn't necessarily indicate its quality, but it does affect price.


The most coveted shape for a pearl is perfectly round, but perfectly round pearls are as rare as totally unblemished ones. You'll find most pearls in the 'all round' to 'mostly round' range. However, pearl lovers often enjoy natural, asymmetrical shapes like oblong, pear-shaped and teardrop pieces.


Because all pearls are unique, each one usually has small imperfections on its surface described as blisters, spots or indentations. Surface quality is judged by the number of those flaws visible on the outside of the pearl. Like diamonds, pearls are rarely flawless.

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