Pearls not only make a fine gift, but also provide a classic allure to a number of wardrobe styles. When you make the right buying choices, pearls can become a valuable piece of jewelry for generations to come. However, with the high demand for pearls comes the necessity of selling cultured pearls. Cultured pearls come from a mollusk that has been injected with an irritant in order for the pearl to form.
Choosing a quality strand of pearls or purchasing any other jewelry containing pearls is not easy. Most stores charge hefty prices for their wares, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the piece is a quality one. What should you look for in a quality piece of pearl jewelry?
Look At The Luster
How long a pearl has been inside of a mollusk determines the amount of luster it has. You can usually judge the quality of the luster by eyeing the sheen on the surface. The pearl you are looking at should have a dimensional glow to it and there should be a rainbow sheen. Low quality pearls will look flat, won’t have any dimension and the color will be continuous.
A Brief Look At Color
As a rule of thumb, darker colored pearls are more valuable as opposed to the lighter toned ones. Valuable pearls are hard to come by and can be found in dark colors such as green, black, blue and gray.
Consider The Shape
If you want a valuable piece of pearl jewelry, opt for a symmetrical and round piece. They are the most valuable as it is the hardest to grow them. However, pearls can be found in a variety of shapes ranging from baroque to button.
Ensure There Are No Blemishes
Examine the pearl of your choosing closely. Lay it against a dark background to make any obvious blemishes pop. The less blemishes or markings a pearl has, the higher the cost and the value.
Size And Drilling Consistency
Larger pearls are going to be more valuable than smaller ones. If you choose to purchase a strand of pearls, always make sure the drilled holes are right in the middle. If the holes aren’t drilled consistently, you may find that the necklace won’t sit properly on your neck.
Inspect The Setting
It is important that if you seek quality pearls, you are getting a setting to match. Look at the workmanship up close and ensure the setting is at least 14k gold. Cheaper pearls can be found in a sterling silver setting, but gold is the setting that adds value.
Always ensure that you purchase your pearl jewelry from a reputable dealer. There are many fakes on the market, and the only way to ensure you pay for a quality piece is to find a dealer who is properly certified and trained in gemology.
Buying jewelry of any type is not easy, especially if you don’t have any real experience. It is not easy to find quality pieces in an over-saturated market, and the only way to get what you pay for is to educate yourself. You will find yourself making wise purchasing decisions when you understand how to inspect pearl jewelry and look for the quality.