Pearls have become the epitome of timeless style and elegance, and any woman who wants to look good at any occasion will have a strand of pearls as an accessory accompanied by simple pearl stud earrings. But if you’re in the market for pearl jewellery, you should be able to choose the best. We all know that there are many ‘fake’ pearls available today, and if you want complete value for your money, you should go for real pearls every time. If you don’t know much about pearls, however, your task can be quite daunting. Here, then, is everything you need to know about pearls – and how to choose the best.
All the pearls sold nowadays are referred to as cultured pearls, so whatever kind of pearl you choose, if it isn’t labelled a natural pearl, will be cultured – whether they’re Akoya, South Sea, Freshwater, or Tahitian pearls.
What’s the difference?
There are different kinds of pearls, as already mentioned: Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls, Freshwater pearls, and Tahitian pearls. It’s important to know the difference between each because they have various characteristics and price differences as well.
The Akoya pearl is what would be referred to as the ‘classic white’ perfectly round type of pearl, although it often has rose, cream, and silver undertones. Some Akoya pearls can undergo treatment to have a black colour. South Sea pearls, on the other hand, can range from deep gold to silver in tone, and they often have a round, baroque, or nearly round shape.
Tahitian pearls are naturally black, but they can also have hues that resemble light silver to dark green. These types of pearls come in round, baroque, and nearly round shapes. Freshwater pearls are perhaps the most popular, as they also come with the most reasonable prices, next only to Akoya pearls. They also have a wider variety of natural hues and colours, from pink to white to lavender, silver, and more. Freshwater pearls can come in round and nearly round shapes, but they can also come in baroque and button shapes.
Choosing the colour
If this is your first time buying pearl earrings, you may want to stick with classic and pure white. White is quite versatile and fits most outfits and ensembles, and many people have the belief that your first pearl earrings or pearl necklace should be in classic white. Of course, if you already have a few pearls in your collection, you can opt for more varied colours. Black pearls aren’t really in a ‘black’ colour, though – they are often darker shades of green, blue, and grey, and they work well if you have darker skin. Pearls in peach, lavender, and pinkish tones are feminine and flirty and are often worn during the summer or spring.
Factors to consider
When choosing pearls, there are some factors you should consider: shape, surface, lustre, and size. The shape will depend on your own preference, but the surface should be clean and clear; although, since pearls are natural, they can have some imperfections. The lustre of the pearl should be high, almost like a mirrored surface, although the higher the lustre, the more expensive the pearl. When it comes to size, a good rule would be at least 7mm for adults and smaller for teenagers and young girls.