The process of creating a pearl is nothing short of magical. When an organic intruder penetrates deep into the delicate tissues of a snail, pearls emerge over time. The mollusk then wraps the invader in many layers of natural minerals and proteins known as nacre (Nay-Ker). This is what gives pearls their distinct look, brilliance, and color. Natural pearls are exceedingly uncommon these days, thus this process is recreated by oyster farmers who produce cultivated pearls.
If you’re looking for pearl jewelry or want to commemorate a June birthday or another special event, it’s important to understand the many varieties of pearls and the elements that influence their value. Pearls come in a variety of sizes and forms, but our most popular pearl jewelry is a traditional Akoya cultured pearl strand necklace.
Are natural pearls uncommon?
Finding natural pearls in the wild is a lottery—genuinely it’s a game of chance. McGee Jewelry does not offer real pearls since they are exceedingly uncommon and the ones that are available are exorbitantly costly. If you come across a natural pearl for sale, it’s important to understand that, unlike cultivated pearls, which are rated by millimeters, natural pearls are classified by carat weight.
Is it true that cultured pearls are real?
Despite the fact that the process utilized to make a cultivated pearl is caused by human intervention, the final pearls are every bit as genuine as natural pearls. Freshwater river mussels or saltwater pearl mollusks are used in the cultivation of cultured pearls. A tiny bead and a small piece of mantle tissue are inserted into the oyster to encourage the formation of nacre in order to make a cultivated pearl. Below, we’ll go through the many forms of cultivated pearls.
Quality Considerations When Choosing a Pearl
The price of a pearl varies greatly. While there is no defined grading system for pearl quality, a variety of characteristics contribute to a pearl’s value, including pearl type, size, shape, color, nacre quality, and luster—as well as rarity and weight (for natural pearls) or size (for cultured pearls).
Another aspect in determining the quality of pearl jewelry is how well the pearls complement one another. For example, producing a string of South Sea pearls that are all the same millimeters in size, shape, and color may take years, which is why they are so expensive.
The Different Types of Pearls and Their Prices
Natural pearls will always be the most costly due to their scarcity. South Sea pearls are the most precious in the world of farmed pearls due to their great size and difficulty in cultivation. The most valuable South Sea pearl hues are gold and pristine white. They do, however, come in a variety of hues, including silver and blue with green overtones.
varieties of pearls
McGee Jewelry has a wide selection of Freshwater, South Sea, and Tahitian cultivated pearls, as well as two distinct collections of Akoya cultured pearls. Our pearl jewelry comes in a variety of forms, such as studs, trendy earrings, strands, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets. Our pearls are available in a variety of price ranges, allowing you to discover the right match for your style and budget.
The color of a pearl is also known as its body color, and it may be white, white rosé, black, silver, gold, or pink. A secondary overtone may also be noticed when light bounces off the surface of a pearl. A pearl strand, for example, may seem white at first sight, but a closer inspection may show a transparent overtone that is pink, green, or blue.
Luster in Pearl Color
Pearls have a vivid, deep shine known as luster. This is a mix of the pearl’s external luster and an inside glow caused by light reflected by the calcium carbonate crystals that compose the pearl’s nacre. The luster of nacre is governed by its thickness, degree of translucence, and layer arrangement. These variables vary based on the kind of pearl and the length of time it is allowed to develop. Contrary to common perception, the nacre of a pearl is not proportional to its size. A little Akoya pearl may have incredible shine, yet a big one plucked too early would be quite dull.
Surface Markings from the Baroque Period
The layers of nacre do not always adhere neatly when a snail forms a pearl. Surface marks are dots and bubbles that occur during the layering process. The smoothest-surfaced pearls are the highest-quality and most sought-after—and they come at a hefty price.
There are various gem treatments that are regularly done to improve the appearance of a pearl. Every Akoya pearl has most likely been bleached to eliminate black stains and achieve a more uniform tint. Irradiation and coloring may also be used in this therapy. Dye is used to producing a wide range of colors, especially in freshwater species. Another way for changing a pearl’s natural hue is irradiation.
The size of a pearl varies widely depending on its nature. Cultured freshwater pearls vary in size from 3.0–13.0mm, Akoya pearls from 6.0–8.5mm, and South Sea and Tahitian pearls up to 13mm. Natural pearls, on the other hand, may grow to be considerably bigger in the right habitat and circumstances.
How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Pearls
The most noticeable distinction between genuine and imitation pearls is the way they feel on the surface. Real pearls have a little uneven surface feel, but artificial or glass beads have a totally smooth surface. Because pearls are created by nature (or farmed to resemble the natural process), they will vary significantly in size, color, and shine when contrasted to the uniform appearance of synthetic pearls.
The most important pearl rule is that they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Hairspray, lotion, and perfume may all diminish their brilliance. Wear them often, and your body’s natural oils will keep them gleaming. Wipe them down with a gentle cloth before storing them. To protect them from becoming scratched, keep them apart from any tougher jewelry. Pearls, like a biological jewel, need air to breathe. As a result, it is preferable to keep them in a soft bag rather than a plastic bag.
Restringing a pearl strand or bracelet every five years or if you notice discoloration or fraying is advised if used regularly. Tightly strung pearl strands may occasionally be loosened by hanging them on a bathroom doorknob, where the weight of the pearls and the moisture in the room assist to straighten the strands out.
Epoxy is used to adhere pearls to earring posts. They sometimes detach off the post. Don’t be concerned! Our professionals would gladly help you in returning them for repair.