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FAQ - Value factors


How to take care of pearls

How to select

Value factors

Freshwater vs Saltwater (Akoya)

Types of Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls vs natural pearls

Origin of Pearls

Pearl Colors and Overtones

I'm not sure which pearls to select?

How can I tell if my pearls are real?

How do I pick the perfect pearl color?

Cultured pearls vs natural pearls

Choosing your Freshwater Pearls

Real and Imitation Pearls

Are black pearls dyed?

How To Choose Your Perfect Tahitian Cultured Pearl Necklace

How to choose your perfect South Sea Cultured Pearl Necklace

Introduction to Pearls

Pearl Clasps

Selecting my necklacea and necklace length

How is market price determined?

Will an appraisal be included with my order?

What is Nacre?

Why Choose PearlsOnly Japanese Akoya?

What are the blue tags shown with Akoya pearls?

How are necklace strands and bracelets tied?

Choosing a necklace

Pearl Measurements

Are my pearls strung too tight?

A Man's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Pearl Gift

What are Hanadam pearls?

Why are Akoya pearls more expensive than Freshwater Pearls?

Wedding Pearls

What are the pearl certificates?

How to adjust my earring backs?

What is pearl grading based on?

What are Golden Southsea Pearls

Pearl Recommendation for Different Age


Each pearl's value depends on a number of factors. These factors are:

  • Size: Just to put it in perspective, a difference of only 1mm can double or triple the price of a pearl. The size of a pearl is determined by its diameter and is measured in millimeters
  • Luster: It depends on the nacre’s translucence and on the way the nacre layers are arranged. The most desired luster is that of a mirror-like glow.
  • Shape: Spherical or round pearls are the most valuable (all other factors being equal). However baroque pearls (irregularly shaped) can be valuable to some jewellery designers.
  • Color and Overtone: Color is influenced by the mollusk itself and by the environment in which the mollusk lives. The color has 3 main characteristics:
    • Body-color overtone and orient.
    • Body-color is the main color of the pearl.
    • Overtone is the transparent colors that appear on the surface of the pearl. 
  • Nacre: The thickness of the nacre depends on the growth period allowed for each pearl, and its formation strongly influences the luster. If it is too thin then it looks dull, and the value is low.
  • Surface: The blemishes and other irregularities on the surface of the pearl influence the value of the pearl. Please see our quality guidelines for a better understanding of the importance of the surface in the grading (and consequently the pricing) of the pearls.
  • Matching: It depends on the design and on the skill of the person who sorts the pearls. Pearl experts put great effort into ensuring that a strand contains pearls of the same size, luster and overtone.
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