If you are new to the world of pearls, you have probably taken a look at the prices of different stores or websites and you are confused, since the prices are very different.
If you spend a few minutes I promise to solve all your doubts.
The first confusion that we must clear up is that what you see in jewelry stores are cultured pearls, do not natural. Cultivating or encouraging oysters to create pearls is a practice that has been carried out for more than 100 years, although it is true that natural pearls exist, they are extremely scarce and a necklace of natural pearls of acceptable quality Can cost more than a million dollars.
Having clarified this, let us explain the reasons why there are cultured pearl necklaces for just 100 euros and others for hundreds of thousands.
To understand this, it is necessary that you first know the 7 Pearl Quality Factors.
The value of a pearl is determined by the combination of 7 factors that determine its quality, and in addition, it is also necessary to take into account its the origin.
Let's start with the factors.
How much are pearls worth according to their quality?
Remember that it is the combination of the 7 factors that determines how much the pearls cost.
- Brightness: The intensity of light reflected from the surface of a pearl. We mention the brightness first, because we consider it very important, if a pearl does not shine it is not of quality. All other factors being equal, the brighter a pearl is, the more valuable it is.
- Size: Detailed in millimeters and with up to two decimal places. The larger a pearl, the higher its value.
- Form: Named as Round, Half Round, Oval, Button, Drop, Semi-Baroque and Baroque. Pearls that do not fall into these categories are described by the shape they appear to be, for example, coin pearls are so named because they are shaped like a coin. As a general rule, the rounder a pearl is, the higher its value.
- Area The number, size, and location of imperfections in a pearl. The fewer imperfections, of smaller size and in a smaller percentage of its surface a pearl presents, the greater its value.
- Color: Although color does not affect the quality of a pearl, certain shades of color may be more valuable than others. For example, in the golden variety of South Sea pearls, the more intense the gold color, the higher its value.
- Nacre quality and thickness: Most freshwater pearls are all nacre, so they are not affected by this factor, but to get some freshwater pearls and all saltwater pearls, you must include a core that the oyster covers with nacre. The thicker and better quality the nacre, the higher the value of the pearl.
- Paired up: The uniformity of the pearls in a necklace or in pieces that carry several pearls. This task, which may seem simple, is actually very difficult. It can take years to get the pearls to create a good quality large pearl necklace, as the color, shine, shape and number of imperfections have to be similar in each pearl.
How much do pearls cost according to their origin?
Before we start talking about the different origins of pearls, I would like to clarify that the origin does not intervene in the quality. Quality is determined by the factors we have discussed.
All types of pearls have their advantages and should not be compared with each other, but also in many cases they cannot be compared with each other due to their color and size.
For example, pearls Tahiti, are the only pearls of dark tones natural (not dyed), so if you are looking for dark colored pearls, you only have this option. The same happens if you are looking for some pearls of Golden colour, the only option is pearls australian golden variety. And once again, if you are looking for pearls in pastel shades, lavender color o peachyou will only find them Sweet water.
Because pearls are created by mollusks of different species, with different farming methods, and in different countries, it is easy to understand why some types of pearls are scarcer y expensive to produce than others, and therefore, its price is higher.
As a general rule, as long as the quality was similar, the price order would be as follows:
- Sweet water: Usually freshwater pearls They are usually the most accessible, since mussels are capable of producing many pearls at the same time and production costs are lower. Within this group there is an exception, freshwater pearls type Edison, whose cultivation is more complex and each mussel only produces one pearl.
- Akoya: The next pearls that we find are the Akoya, especially those of medium sizes of 7 mm and produced in China, since those produced in Japan are usually of higher quality and command much higher prices. The large ones are very scarce and their prices are usually very high.
- Tahiti: These pearls are produced in French Polynesia, although in recent years, due to increased production, pearls Tahiti they have become more accessible, especially in low qualities. However, high quality and large sizes continue to fetch prohibitive prices.
- Australians: Lastly, we would have the queen of gems. the pearls of South SeaCommonly misnamed Australian pearls as not all are produced in Australia, they are usually the largest pearls and the ones that most often fetch record prices.
If you have read this far, you will understand that this is only indicative, since, as I have explained, the price also depends on the quality and each pearl is different. That is why when buying pearls it is important that you do it in a brand that knows how to give you all the information you need.
En Secret & You we are experts in pearls, graduated by the GIA and backed by three generations of experience importing pearls directly from producers, therefore, we ensure that we offer the best information and help you need to make the right decision.