Pearls are versatile and timeless gemstones that occur in nature. Living shelled mollusk secrete nacre layers after layers in its soft tissue, which ultimately forms these lustrous gems. Each pearl differs in shape as this is a natural process. Pearls that occur naturally in the wild are called natural pearls and are very rare. Today, cultured pearls are grown from oysters at pearl farms.
You may be planning to sell the inherited or gifted pearl strands but wondering how much are these worth. To learn how pearls, get valued click here!
Both cultured and natural pearls get judged with same quality standards. Factors that get considered while determining its overall value are size, shape, luster, color, as well as nacre and surface quality.
Obviously, large pearls cost more as they take more time to form. Size of pearl diameter is measured in mm. Average cultured pearl sizes are between 7mm to 8mm.
A perfectly round shape is most prized pearl shape but is hard to culture. Four basic groups are near to round, off-round, baroque, and semi baroque. The value of uneven and irregular baroque shape is lowest. Fortunately, well-formed baroque, pear, or oval shaped pearl get highly valued for its rarity and uniqueness.
Besides classic creamy white pearls there is a wide plethora of colors ranging from yellow, golden, and pink to every color between black and blue. Colors include three components –
- Body color or dominant
- Overtone or translucent color covering the body color
- Orient or rainbow iridescence deep within the pearl
Every pearl has body color, while some display overtone, orient or both. Supply and demand determine the color of pearls that is most valuable.
Luster is the reflective brilliance from pearl surface. Luster offers pearls their exclusive beauty. Pearls with mirror like reflections along with distinct and sharp edges determines excellent luster with high value. Pearls giving poor reflection or appear chalky are defined as having low luster.
Nacre layer includes varying depth, which affects pearls durability and luster. Thin nacre reveals dull, chalky appearance that impacts its value.
Numerous imperfections adversely impact pearl durability and value but minor blemishes can be concealed through careful mounting.
Even the pearls origin and age is considered besides the above qualities.