Commonly Asked Questions: Pearls

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 in Commonly Asked Questions, Informational, Pearls, Uncategorized.

oyster and pearls

What are the different types of pearls? Pearls come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colors. Some of the most common types of pearls found in fine jewelry are freshwater pearls, akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls. If you want to learn more about these different types of pearls, click here.

Which pearl is most valuable? South Sea pearls are the rarest and most valuable type of pearl available.

Are cultured pearls real? Cultured pearls are in fact genuine pearls. Just like natural pearls, they grow inside of living mollusks in oceans and lakes and are formed when an irritant enters the mollusk or oyster. The only difference between cultured pearls and natural pearls is that with cultured pearls, the irritant is purposely placed in an oyster or mollusk to ensure pearl production.

How rare are natural pearls? Natural pearls are extremely rare. Only about 1 in 10,000 wild oysters will produce a natural pearl. Of those, very few will be gem quality.

How can I tell if my pearl is genuine? Gently rub the pearl against the edges of your teeth. If you have a genuine pearl, you’ll notice a gritty feeling. If the pearl feels smooth, you most likely have an imitation pearl.

How is pearl quality determined? The quality of a pearl is determined by its lustre, surface appearance, shape, color, and size. For more information on pearl quality, click here.

How can I make sure my pearl jewelry will last a lifetime? We suggest that you avoid putting on perfume, makeup and hairspray when wearing your pearl jewelry. Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on while getting ready and the first thing you take off at night. If you ever need to clean your pearls, make sure to use a clean, soft cloth to gently wipe away any dirt or oil. Occasionally, pearl necklaces will need to be restrung. If you notice that your pearls seem loose to the touch, take them to a jeweler and have them restrung.