Pearls have several general grading factors. Size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality, and matching.
1- Size- Pearls usually range from 2mm to over 20mm in pearl earrings black rare occasions. Pearls of larger size are generally more expensive due to the longer creation times. More information on pearl sizes can be found by clicking the link.
2- Shape- Roundness is accepted as the most valuable and rare type of pearl. Irregular pearl shapes, however, are becoming increasingly more popular in recent years and are commonly used in fashion pearls design jewelry. In your pearl shoppingPearl Ringadventures youwill come across near round, off-round, and almost-round, and perfectly round shapes of pearls. These all refer to being round in shape in general.
Oval pearls are shaped like eggs. You will also run into baroque pearls which indicates being irregualr in shape. Oddly enough these pearls are commonly found to be more expensive than round pearls. You will see this in Tahitian pearls which are some of the most expensive and rarest on the market.
3- Color- Pearl colors are generally softer colors, in subtle hues of soft colors. A uniformed color all the way around the pearl is most sought after. Pearls with this factor make a unifrom looking set. Often pearls are dyed to meet the demands of fashion. Special treatments ensure that the pearls will never fade or run. If you are looking for quality this is one pearl factor you should be looking for.
4- Luster- A thick luster and the translucency of the pearl are most important steps leading to excellent luster. Luster is defined as the amount of light reflected off the surface. For simplicity let's break luster down to two categories. Low luster and high luster. Low luster appears "murky" whereas a high luster will have a uniform mirror shine. Excellent luster is achieved when the pearl or pearls reflects light brightly and sharply.
5- Surface Quality- A smooth surface with out bumps, gaps, spots or other imperfections are very rare in Pearl Necklacepearls as they are a creation of nature. Of course these are the types of pearls that are most desirable. At Aloha Pearls we only carry pearls with very good to excellent surface quality.
6- Nacre Quality- Thick nacre is imperative to the beauty and value of the pearl. Thick nacre adds to the beautiful luster of a pearl. It is classified as the coatings of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that covers the nucleus.
7- Matching- Matching pearls was covered a little in the colors paragraph #3. Matching is very important when creating a strand of pearls. If the strand is not matched correctly it will look odd. Matching doesn't only refer to colors, shape of pearls is also looked at when making a strand. There are many strands that utilize more than one color of pearls but they still look uniform. You can view a beautiful tahitian necklace we have that uses this technique. This matching of pearls makes the strand more uniform and valuable.Pearl sizes vary depending on the type of oyster or mussel that they come from. Generally speaking pearl size is one of the most important factors of value, although color suchs as pink, black, and whites, can also influence price. Naturally, the larger the pearl, the more valuable it is. The reason behind the size of the pearl can be of many factors, mainly the time the mollusk was under water but there are several other factors. These include the health of the mollusk, the size of its nucleus, climate, and nutrients in the water, and or pollution. Pearls are usually between 2mm to 20mm, these are of course extremes on both ends. Some are known to reach a size of 50mm in length! Refer to the chart below to get a good idea about sizes.