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Determine The Quality of Cultured Pearls

In general, there are seven factors that determine the quality, value, and beauty of pearls. They are luster, shape, color, size, nacre quality, surface quality, and for pearl strands or earrings, the matching of pearls.

Luster – Luster is the first and most important definition for a pearl’s beauty. Luster should be your primary focus when judging quality. To recognize finer luster, look at the clarity of images that are reflected in the pearl’s surface. The closer to a mirror image you see, the better the luster. Pearls with fine luster also seem to glow warmly from within.

 Shape – Pearls exist in many shapes, such as round, near round, pear or drop, button, coin, semi baroque, or baroque. Generally speaking, the rounder a pearl, the rarer and more valuable it is.

Size – the larger the pearl, the rarer it is. The size of a pearl is measured by millimeters across its diameter. Different type of pearls has a different range of sizes. For instance, South Sea pearls are the largest and range from 8mm-18mm, Akoya pearls range from 4mm-9mm.

Surface – the more flawless the surface of a pearl is, the higher it will be valued. However, a flawless pearl only comes about once in about every million, as pearls are the result of a natural process, and a mollusk will usually leave some sort of unique mark on the finished pearl.

Color – unlike the other factors, color has little influence on the actual value of a pearl, except in the case of popularity. Essentially, the color of the pearl you desire is a matter of personal taste. Traditionally, there is a rather consistent demand for the classic silvery white pearls and the glowing gold shades. The rarest and most desired are the white “rose” colored pearls.

Nacre Quality - Nacre is the natural substance that the mollusk secretes to protect its sensitive flesh from irritants such as shell fragments or implanted beads. This is the same beautiful iridescent material that lines the inner surface of the oyster shells, aptly named mother-of-pearl. As a rule, the thicker the nacre, the higher quality the pearl is.

Matching – For a piece of pearl jewelry that consists of more than one pearl, such as a strand of necklace, or a pair of earring, matching of pearls becomes another important factor to determine the value of the jewelry. Look at the size, shape, color, luster and surface of the pearls to see if they matched very well. A perfectly matched pearl necklace or earrings will ultimate enhance the value of the piece.



My 7-7.5 mm Gold Akoya Pearl necklace has a lovely quality, superb lustre and is very well priced in today's market. I like the fact that you customized it to my tastes.

You develop an excellent relationship with your customers: one of trust, mutual respect and honesty.
I will continue to recommend Princess Pearl to my close friends and acquaintances.


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