What are Blue Akoya Pearls?

What are Blue Akoya Pearls?

There was a question about natural Blue Akoya Pearls that came to the Cultured Pearl Association of America last week. I thought I would pass on this information because I have a  Blue Akoya Pearl and Aquaprase necklace in this email. The question was, how rare are they and what gives them their intense color?...
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Pearl Qualities-Nacre

Pearl Qualities-Nacre

This drawing shows you a more detailed look at how nacre is formed. A mother of pearl shell bead nucleus is inserted into the host oyster, along with a square of donor mantle tissue from another oyster who has previously borne pearls of high or exceptional value, and the oyster is left to begin secreting...
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Gold Lipped Oyster Shell

Pearl Qualities-Color

Yes. Let’s talk about color. I am sure you are aware, by now, that there are many colors of pearls in their natural state. But how do they get their color? This is a Gold Lipped Oyster shell. What color pearl do you think this oyster made? Well, yes. Good guess...
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Pearl Qualities-Surface

Pearl Qualities-Surface

I had to dig deep to come up with these seriously flawed pearls. I usually through away any rogue pearls with problems, but these were stashed in some long forgotten bin. Thank heavens. These are ugly.  Describing the surface quality of a pearl comes in terms of “flaws”. Most of the synonyms for flaws are...
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Pearl Qualities-Luster (my personal favorite)

Pearl Qualities-Luster (my personal favorite)

In this photo from the Gemological Institute of America, from top to bottom, these Japanese saltwater cultured pearls show excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor luster. The differences in the sharpness of the reflections between each adjacent strand are subtle but still noticeable. Luster is one of the most significant pearl qualities. The luster...
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Pearl Qualities-Matching

Pearl Qualities-Matching

Matching is one of the Classic qualities of pearl judging. The perfect necklace would have all perfectly round, matching in every aspect, pearls. To make this necklace all of these pearls had to be the same round shape, the same color or tone of color, the same perfect surface condition, the same size…
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Pearl Qualities-Shape

Pearl Qualities-Shape

I started in my last email illuminating on the first of the Pearl Qualities, Size.  This time we will talk about Shape.  Usually, the more round and symmetrical the shape, the more value the pearl will have. Round, Off Round or Potato Pearls, Drop, Baroque, and Circle Pearls are the run down in order of value...
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Pearl Qualities-Size

Pearl Qualities-Size

Size dramatically affects the the price of pearls, especially above 7mm. People usually buy the largest pearls they can afford, but then again, it’s all about personal preference. Large pearls are rarer and usually require a longer time to mature. the largest pearls are from the South Seas and Tahitian waters.  Pearls can range...
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A Vietnamese Akoya Pearl

Akoya Pearls

Highly Lustrous Akoya pearls come from the white Pinctada Fucata oysters of Japan. Akoya pearls are stars in the fashion world right now. In recent years, fashion-forward women have given celebrity status to the beautifully lustrous Akoya pearls in fine jewelry. Why are Akoya pearls creating such a buzz? Akoya oysters, which grow...
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La Peregrina Pearl

La Peregrina Pearl

One of the most famous pearls was found off an island in the Americas. It is a fabulously large natural pearl that is the size of a pigeon’s egg. It has had many illustrious owners, among them Elizabeth Taylor, Philip II of Spain, and Mary Tudor of England. I had the extreme pleasure of trying...
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Freshwater or Saltwater Pearls?

Freshwater or Saltwater Pearls?

All pearls are cultured either in freshwater – mostly lakes, or in saltwater – oceans, seas, atolls, and bays. Saltwater Pearls are the South Sea White and Golden Golden South Sea Pearls, Tahitians & other South Sea colored Pearls, and Akoya Pearls made famous by Mikimoto. The best saltwater Pearls are prized above the freshwater..."
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How To Buy Pearls

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...
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