How To Buy Pearls
You may not get the opportunity to visit the actual pearl farms as I have been able to do, but there are distinct qualities that you desire in pearls. Much like the 4Cs of buying diamonds, pearls have a similar set of standards. Pearl Quality = Luster, Size, Shape, and Surface.
Luster is the commanding sign of a high quality gem pearl. Luster is the combination of the surface brilliance and an inner glow. The higher the luster, the more valuable the pearl is. Nacre is the substance that makes a pearl. Nacre is layer on layer created by the mollusk. The more nacre, the more luster a pearl will have. Layers of nacre create a prismatic reflection through the pearl giving it a glow. As well, the cleaner the surface, the more luster will be available. A smooth surface, without bumps or blisters will also be more valuable and beautiful.
Size and shape are also qualifiers. While round pearls are the most valuable, many people are drawn to the undulation shape and surface of Baroque pearls. The size of pearls is also a determining factor. Size is measured at the diameter of the pearl in millimeters or mm. The larger the pearl, the more valuable.
When you are looking at pearls to purchase, pay close attention to the luster, size, shape and surface of the pearls. You will develop a preference for one quality or give different qualities more importance. That’s ok. Now you know how to look at pearls with more information and make your own decisions.